So many settle for mediocrity. I have done it myself. I despise that place. You can see others around you excelling at what they do – what you could do. You may find yourself asking, “Is it even possible for me to have that kind of success?” Good question.
I started playing the guitar when I was 14 years old. I was looking for something that I could be good at. I had already realized it wasn’t going to be sports. I took a few months of lessons and then kept playing. By the time I got to college, I was OK at best.
Then Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds played a show at my college. They were incredible. Two guys with their acoustic guitars on stage playing. No band. Just them.
I heard a great story this week that has had my wheels turning ever since. I’m going to share it with you in a minute.
But first, I want you to consider how you talk to yourself – in your head. I think I’ve heard someone call this self-talk.
Photo by David Meier
The way I talk to myself holds me back all the time. My first couple of years in commercial real estate, it held me way back. I would talk myself out of making a call. I would decide for a prospect that they weren’t interested…before I made the call.
This self-talk makes a difference. What does the talk in your head sound like? Consider this story.
A rich oil sheik decided he wanted to learn how to play golf. So he built one of the world’s best golf courses. It was perfect – gorgeous.
The sheik then invited a US club pro to spend two weeks with him on his new golf course giving him lessons. The pro accepted the invitation.
So the Sheik sent his private jet to collect the pro and bring him to the Middle East. Once there, the pro spent two weeks in complete opulence. Everything that he could have wanted was available to him.
The pro loved the course and very much enjoyed teaching the Sheik.
After 2 weeks, the pro was boarding the private jet to go back to America. The Sheik, being very pleased with his two weeks of lessons, offered the pro anything.
The pro responded and told the Sheik that this had been the best 2 weeks of his life. His hospitality and generosity were payment enough.
The Sheik insisted, asking the pro if he collected anything.
If you are reading this blog, it is likely that you want more. You want to improve your productivity, your prospecting, your presence, your something. Nobody gets up every morning with the goal of being mediocre. Ultimately, you want to dominate your market. But the truth is, you can’t.
My kids are in the driveway right now playing basketball with the neighbor kids. When I was their age, the Bad Boys version of the Detroit Pistons were winning championships. I remember playing in the driveway and pretending I was Isaiah Thomas and Joe Dumars.
I wanted to dominate a basketball game the way they did. But I topped out at 5’7” with less than average athletic ability and a suspect jump shot. I was never going to dominate a basketball game.
And you are never going to dominate your market because of these 7 reasons.
My dad started developing self-storage units somewhere around 1980. The name of this company is AAA Rent-A-Space. About the same time, my mom had one of four or five Century21 franchises in our town. The name was Century21 A Barron Company. Both of these companies were named so they would be listed first in the yellow pages. How do you think the yellow pages business is doing right now?
One of the comments I hear most often as I engage with experienced brokers across the country is this. “These kids are coming out of nowhere and taking my market share.” They are lamenting that the presence that took them a decade or more to develop is being eroded by younger, new to the business brokers who are creating dominating digital presence.
Presence is being known – being top-of-mind. You know you have it when the most influential and connected people in your market are sending business your way. You know you have it when people are glad you called and don’t need to ask who you are.
It is no secret that commercial real estate is behind the curve when it comes to digital presence adoption. We have an industry that is dominated by white men who aren’t in their 20’s or 30’s anymore. That is just a demographic fact (though I see this changing.)
There is a reason why younger brokers are having this kind of success. What used to take a decade or more to build, can now be accomplished in a year or two. But this is not just a younger person’s game. The landscape has changed. Anyone can take advantage of this powerful aspect of building your business.
In fact, everyone in a sales or service profession should create a digital presence. Here’s why.
Free Webinar - How to Thrive as a New to the Business Broker
Join Rod Santomassimo, founder and president of the Massimo Group, and I as we share how to thrive as a N2B broker. We are also going to announce two exciting offers during the webinar.
If you are a CRE broker with 2 years of experience or less, you should be on this webinar. If you employ new brokers, or are trying to recruit them, you should be on this webinar.
The session referenced in this video filled up so quickly we had to open up a 2nd session. The second session is at 3pm Eastern today.
Free Webinar: Join me and Rod Santomassimo, founder and president of the Massimo Group, as we share the keys to thriving in Commercial Real Estate as a new to the business broker. In this webinar, we will show you:
Keys to success for new to business brokers
What it takes to create a solid start to a prosperous career
Specific strategies and tactics that will help you generate early income
This webinar is guaranteed to give you actionable tactics you can immediately apply to your business. If you are a new to the business broker, or the broker/owner who employs them, you want to be on this webinar.
Plus, we will be announcing two special offers to attendees.
Join over 150 already registered for the call, and I look forward connecting with you soon!
Webinar: I am excited about being the presenter during tomorrow’s webinar hosted by Matthew Smith of RealNex featuring the Massimo Group – History is a Great Forecaster – Identifying Future Income Opportunities. In this webinar you will learn:
Methods of collecting historical data
How to use tools already at your disposal to become the recognized expert in your market
How to use historical transactional data to identify trends
How to use market data to close for more meetings
Join over 500 already registered, and I will see you tomorrow!
At the end of this post is an exercise you can download to brainstorm a year’s worth of weekly blog posts in 10 minutes.
I remember the first day after I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps. It was the day I started working with my dad in the commercial real estate industry. I knew nothing beyond what I picked up from growing up with two parents in real estate. I didn’t have a license. I didn’t have business cards. I was as green as they come. All I wanted to do was hide in my office.
Photo from istockphoto.com
I remember having the nagging thought: “Who would want to work with you when they could work with your dad?” It took me two years to get over that self-doubt.
It is one thing to gain self-confidence, and that takes time. Your industry also needs to gain confidence in you. You need to become known as an expert in your field. I like to talk about this as dominant market presence. Are you, your company, or your product the first thing that pops into potential clients’ or customers’ minds?
Additionally, if you still haven’t bought the idea that you should be blogging or need help setting up and launching your blog, read this post on the subject.
I believe a blog is the quickest way to gain this dominant market presence. You can become known as an expert, gain dominant market presence, and cultivate the next generation of clients and customers by blogging in these 4 categories.
Blog on These 4 Categories
Deal Stories – Stories are an incredible way to engage with your audience. They often allow you to connect with your readers on an emotional level. This invites your readers into your post and keeps them there. Stories of real situations are also valuable to your potential future clients. Plus, stories allow you to demonstrate your expertise without tooting your own horn. Your deal stories should include these 3 sections:
Situation – Give the context of what was going on. Why were you hired? What challenges was your client facing? Giving the context allows your readers to relate.
Steps – What did you do to solve your clients problems? What did you do to help maximize your client’s best interests? Share what happened, but be careful not to sound like a commercial.
Solution – Here is where you describe the results. This is the culmination of the story. If done well, the reader will have a better understanding of the service or product you provide and how that product or service can benefit them.
News – Blogging about the news demonstrates that you are in-the-know about what is happening in your industry. However, the news can be boring. You do not want to just regurgitate what your readers are hearing from other sources. If a certain news topic is becoming a topic of conversation at the water cooler, you should blog about it. Demonstrate your expertise and experience by giving your take. A word of caution: only blog about a news topic if it is applicable to your industry.
Market trends – This topic can also be boring so be careful. I would not blog about market trends more than once a quarter. However, demonstrating that you are aware of market trends is important. For some of your readers, this information will be valuable. It puts you in the position to become a trusted resource for timely information.
101 Topics – In Commercial Real Estate, every successful investor did their first deal at some point. Donald Trump did not come out of the womb as an expert. He had to learn. By blogging about the basics of your industry, you have the opportunity to educate the next generation of players in your industry. In the next 20 years, we are about to see the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of the world. By educating the next generation of your future clients, who do you think will be top-of-mind when the next generation has a need for your product or service for the first time? You will!
A huge hurdle for many beginning bloggers is the anxiety of knowing what to blog about. As a bonus to this post, I have included a simple exercise I use with my coaching clients. In 10 minutes, you can brainstorm these 4 categories and produce a year’s worth of blog topics.
Knowing what you will blog about for the entire next year is like a warm blanket. This single exercise could lead to your success in building a powerful blog that increases your presence, solidifies you as an expert, and cultivates the next generation of your future clients.
Question: What are you doing to ensure the success of your presence campaign in 2014? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
You may have heard the question, “When is the best time to plant a tree?” The answer is 100 years ago. The second best time? Today!
Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto.com
This is the mindset I encourage you to have when considering whether or not you will start your blog. I don’t know if you’ve noticed in your life, but fear will hold you back. I remember the fear I felt when I enlisted in the Marine Corps. I told my dad before I left that I wanted to go to Parris Island and be the best Marine in my company. After 10 days on the island, I wrote him a letter. It told him that I just wanted to survive. Fear holds you back. It causes you to pause – to hesitate. Fear can prevent you from doing something great. Fear is not your friend. You can launch your blog by overcoming these 4 fears.
Overcoming the 4 Fears of Blogging
1. Who is my audience?
Good question. Who is your audience? It isn’t going to be the same as mine – or anyone else’s. Ask yourself who your ideal client or prospect is. That is the who you are writing to. Frankly, I need to remind myself more about this. I was listening to an interview a couple of weeks ago. The topic was profiling your ideal client or customer. Do you know how they think? Do you know their buying habits? What they like? How much money they make? Single or married? Go through an exercise of answering all of these questions. Once you are done, name your ideal client. I call mine Bob. Now write to Bob. Clarity on this question will allow you to push through the fear.
2. How do I set it up?
This is really what help me back from starting. How do I do it? There are so many blogging platforms. How will you choose? I’m going to make this super easier for you, and I’m going to tell you what to do.
Use the wordpress.org platform – Many platforms exist, but this is the one the pro’s use. It is what I use. It is the absolute bomb. It is free. The absolute best resource to learn how to use WordPress is – http://www.wp101.com/. It will have you rolling in no-time.
Pick a web host – This is not free, but it is cheap. There are even more of these to choose from. Use Bluehost (affiliate link), and here is why.
Their support is awesome! My site got hacked, and they helped me get it back up in no time. And I don’t have a clue how to do this website stuff. They have helped me at 2 in the morning. And they speak great English.
In my one year with them, I’ve never had an outage.
They don’t allow porn. This may not be a big deal to you, but it is to me. And as they generally use shared serves, I love the idea that my site doesn’t “live” next to that stuff. I love that.
Pick a premium theme – If you are going to do this, then make it look excellent. A premium them will look like a million bucks. These can cost anywhere from $50 – $200, but it is a one time fee. The look of your site augments your brand, so don’t go cheap on me here. Here are some choices for you to cut through the clutter.
Woo Themes – I’ve never used these, but I’ve heard many recommend them. They have many to choose from, and it will cost you about $100.
Standard Theme – I have used this theme and was a big fan. It will run you $39. And brokers are cheap, so I might suggest you start here.
Elegant Themes – You can get access to all 86 of their themes for just $39, and they are beautiful. I do think they are on the feminine side, but that’s just me.
Get Noticed Theme – This is the one I use. It is on the expensive side for themes ($197), but I love it. If you are starting, you may wait until you know you will do this for the long haul before you spend this kind of jack.
Watch this screencast – This is the best tutorial I’ve seen on how to put all of this together. You can be up and writing your first post in 20 minutes – literally. Just watch this video and follow along. This is exactly how I did it.
3. What do I write about?
This is a post all unto itself, and I will write it soon. But take it from me, this is so much easier than I thought. Once you have an outlet for your thoughts, it is like you start thinking differently. I see potential blog posts in just about everything. I even have friends that feed me ideas now (thanks David!). I do have a brainstorming exercise that I use to generate post ideas. I will share this in a subsequent post. But for now, don’t let this stop you from starting.
4. How do I find the time?
You have the time. In fact, you have the same 168 hours a week that everyone else does. You will spend those hours exactly how you choose to. Personally, I watch less TV. It may be something different for you that has to go. I encourage you to consider what you are doing during your non-productive hours. Those hours when you aren’t producing. When I struggle with this area, I reconnect with my why. I remind myself about the many benefits of blogging – how this site can go before me and grease the wheels of the sales process. Connect with your why, and it will drive away the fear.
Question: So what is holding you back from launching your blog? You can leave a comment by clicking here.