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Finding your identity as a real estate salesperson


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“Can you help me?” desperately pleaded a prospective coaching client. “I want to grow my business. I want the top-producer formula.”

That is what we all hope for, no? The magic bullet.

The New York caller continued, “I have tried cold-calling, but I just can’t wrap my brain around doing this every day for the rest of my career. I don’t like cold-calling, but that is what most of the agents at my office do.

“If that is the formula for me to succeed, then I will make myself do it.”

The caller resigned to being uncomfortable for the sake of copying someone else’s success formula.

The fact is there is no universal equation for success. For many agents, cold-calling is what drove their business forward. Door-to-door has also worked for some, while others do best with a good social media strategy or referral program.

The key to growth is understanding that what works for others might not work for you. Everyone achieves progress differently; there are many paths to success, and there is no universal equation for it.

In real estate, salespeople cannot be forced into one style or method of doing business. Shoving different personalities into the same mold and routine can cause regression and damage to business morale.

You learned it in kindergarten

Remember back when you, your children, or your “grands” were in kindergarten?

They had all types of toys to help stimulate their mind while keeping them from sticking a fork in an outlet or annoying the dog.

One popular toy included shape-styled blocks that fit into same-shaped cutouts.

It could be considered a basic puzzle game. Children new to this toy often would take the triangle shape and try to stuff it into the rectangle, grab the star piece and bang it into the square piece and the like.

The problem was that the right pieces were not being put with the right cutout. Frustrated, the child either thinks, “This toy is broken; throw it out” or “Make it fit; bang on the piece until it is in the desired spot.”

Both approaches cause damage.

The game was not defective. Nor did the pieces need to be forced into the space. There only needed to be an understanding of what worked best in each area.

Likewise, the game of real estate sales is not broken or defective. Nor, can we force every salesperson into one area.

Not everyone will fit and damage will likely result.

Remember that saying, “All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten?”

Well, this analogy is no exception.

Working with the right organization

Does your organization inadvertently train everyone to be cookie-cutter salespeople, or are you, as a manager, considering your agents’ individual styles?

Does your organization encourage you to participate in limited lead generation activities instead of speaking to its uniquely varied salespeople and their personalities?

Managers often seek to recruit and retain a vibrant sales forces, without realizing that the answer to doing so lies in the promotion of individuality and creativity.

Creating the ideal sales environment

Managers should help salespeople find their identity and the lead generation activities that work best for them and their personality type. This will liberate salespeople from dogmatically chasing one or two dominant lead generation methods.

By adopting this revolutionary way of thinking, personality-job fit can become a competitive advantage when attracting and keeping a burgeoning sales team.

Lee Davenport is a licensed real estate broker, business doctoral student, trainer and coach. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google+, or visit her website.

Email Lee Davenport.

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