30 years of brutally honest business advice in 1250 words



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There are winners and losers in every market cycle. Throughout my career, some of the toughest words to hear were the most impactful in getting my business back on track. Here are eight of the brutally honest observations and advice that shaped the successes I’ve achieved.

1. You’re acting like an indoor cat

Indoor cats are confined to a controlled environment. They wait for someone to feed them. They are generally lazy, temperamental and, typically, don’t play well with others.

Outdoor cats on the other hand have the freedom to roam and to live adventurous lives. But with all that freedom, they understand that if they are going to eat, it will be a result of their efforts. They don’t sit around waiting for someone to feed them or take care of them. They take action to get what they want and need.

The pandemic market, and the ease of the business during that time, created a lot of agents who act like “indoor cats.” We can all drift in that direction at times. The key is to not settle into a business where you are waiting for things to happen. If you want different results, do different things, and take massive action.

2. Shut mouths don’t get fed

Ours is a business built on having real estate-related conversations. The person who has the most business conversations wins. So, if your business is stalled or down, simply have more conversations, and your results will begin to change.

This is not something that can be done in a single day or in spurts. It is consistently having these conversations day in and day out with your past clients, sphere of influence and prospects that will lead to your success. Set a daily goal and track the number of these conversations you have. By doing so, your results will improve.

3. You are reaping what you’ve been sowing

The law of sowing and reaping states that your current situation (what you are reaping) is the result of what you did in the past (what you sowed). The key to this law is to understand three main principles:

You reap in a different season than you sow

Seeds take time to germinate, grow and, ultimately, to produce fruit. You may not be able to control what you are reaping today, but your future success is dependent upon the seeds you plant today. Sow bountifully today and you will reap bountifully tomorrow.

You reap a multitude of what you sow

Reaping is a process of multiplication. One kernel of corn planted has the potential to produce a stalk with multiple ears of corn containing hundreds of kernels. Your efforts will result in exponential results if you put forth the effort and are diligent in nurturing the seeds you plant.

Others will reap what you sow

We all have basic needs, but this business provides us with the opportunity to earn an income that is beyond our needs. This is the driving force, or “why,” that allows most successful agents to continue to grow their businesses.

This business gives us the opportunity to provide for our family at a level most people are not able to achieve. It gives us the ability to donate to worthy causes or to support those in need. If you sow properly, yes you will reap a reward, but others will as well.

4. The market is tough, but you’re playing soft

Grit is always underestimated. There are winners and losers in every market. It is when the market changes and things get a little tougher that champions emerge. Yes, the market is tougher than it has been, but are you softer than you’ve been in the past?

Do you still wake up with a burning desire to help your clients? Do you quit when things are more difficult, or do you double down on your efforts? The grittiest agents will not only survive, but they will also thrive and emerge as the top agents in their local market for years to come.

5. If you’re not known as the expert for a particular neighborhood, you’re not an expert

I’m speaking specifically about geographical farming. I don’t know of a single highly successful agent who doesn’t have at least one geographical farm area where they are known as the expert for that community.

If you aren’t sure how to identify an ideal neighborhood and then how to market to that farm area in a way that generates consistent listings, check out this article: A never-fail, step-by-step blueprint to consistently find listing leads.

6. The market doesn’t care what you don’t like

Don’t like shooting videos? Buyers and sellers don’t care, and they will just find your competitors via the videos they create since 82 percent of all internet traffic is expected to be video by 2025. 

Don’t like hosting open houses? That’s fine, remember, though, that buyers love them. They will just meet your competitors and decide to work with them at the open house they host.

Don’t like circle prospecting, door knocking or posting on social media? The market doesn’t care.

Growth and comfort cannot coexist. Get uncomfortable. Push past your fear and act on the strategies you know will help your business. Everything you want your business to become is right on the other side of your comfort zone.

7. Your business isn’t growing because you aren’t growing

Your business can only grow at the pace with which you are personally growing. What new skill have you recently learned? What lead generation or negotiation strategy have you recently studied to become better? When was the last time you read a book that expanded your abilities? 

Developing a personal development plan for yourself will lead to consistent business growth. I like to have a main focus area each month. By doing so, I have the ability to develop or enhance twelve specific skills each year.

An example of this might be a monthly goal of learning how to effectively geographically farm an area. This would involve weekly goals of watching a certain number of YouTube videos, listening to audio podcasts or reading a book on the subject. I might then rotate the next month to negotiation skills, social media marketing or any other area in which I am interested in developing myself.

When you’re growing personally, your business growth will follow.

8. There is another level for your business

Whether your business is barely surviving or thriving right now, there is another level of success available for you. If you’re struggling or you’ve plateaued, think back to the last time you had momentum. What were you doing in terms of prospecting? What was your daily routine? Who were you surrounded by? What were you focused on?

By recreating the successful environment you were operating in and the activities you were doing, momentum will again begin to build.

If you are having success, don’t settle. Keep growing. Keep learning. Keep finding ways to serve your clients at a higher level. Congratulations on your success but remember that your capacity to serve others has not capped out. The best is yet to come!

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.





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