How You Can Become a Top Producer

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.

The Four  Not-So-Secret

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 was in awe at what they could do with pieces of wood and six strings.  I had the same six strings they had.  But I realized that it didn’t matter how much I practiced, I was never going to be as good as them.

My son is 12 and loves basketball – and he’s good.  But he’s realizing that his dream of making it to the NBA has one big problem.  I am 5’7″.  He is trending to be closer to 6′, but he will likely never dunk a basketball or be able to stay in front of someone with real athleticism.

What my son and I lack is God-given talent when it comes to music or basketball.  We can practice and train, but there is a ceiling on what we can do in those areas.

But I have great news for you today.  Commercial real estate – or sales or service – is not dependent upon talent. It is dependent upon attitude and effort. You can become a top producer by emulating these four best practices of top producers.

The 4 Best Practices of Top Producers

1.  Prospecting – Top producers are fanatical about prospecting.  They have system to target their perfect prospects.  They define who they are pursuing, build a list, and go after it.  Every day.  They track their metrics and know their numbers. They continue to improve and tweak their system – and they execute their plan. They are not afraid of the phone. I am exhibit 1 for an introverted kid who was afraid of the phone.  You can grow from that place.

Are you afraid of the phone? Do you prospect every day? Do you have a clearly defined specialty? Do you have a list of your perfect prospects? If you don’t, you can!

2.  Presence – Prospecting is not enough. In fact, it is just one side of the coin. The other side is market presence. Top producers have a personal presence plan. They strategically build relationships and add value with the specific list of people who can make the most impact on their business. They get face to face with these people and give before they get (reciprocity trigger). They send the stuff in the mail. They demonstrate their expertise online by curating great content as well as producing their own.

Do you have a plan to become top-of-mind in your market? Do you have a list of the most important people to your business over the next 5-10 years? Do you personal marketing calendar? Do you demonstrate your expertise with online content? If you don’t, you can!

3.  Time Management – Top producers are fanatical about squeezing the most out of their time. They believe the truth that they control their time. They schedule appointments with themselves, on their calendars, to accomplish the most important things – prospecting, building presence, serving the highest interests of their clients. They do not allow the tyranny of the urgent to knock them off their plan.

If I looked at your calendar, could I tell when you were going to prospect today? Could I tell when you were going to have that face-to-face meeting with your best client just to check in and build the relationship?

4. Technology – Top producers are smart about technology. That means they don’t spend tons of time trying to implement every new app that appears every week. They understand two concepts.  Start simple and get fancy later (thank you Amy Porterfield) and you must be effective before you are efficient (thank you Brian Crall). Here is what you need to start:

  • A great cloud based CRM – You have 3 main choices in CRE – Apto, ClientLook, and REA.  Stay tuned for future posts as I plan to demo each for you and give my recommendations.
  • A robust marketing platform – You need something that can create your marketing, retailer maps, property websites, syndicate to all the listing portals, integrate with email marketing, etc. Enter your data once, and all of this appears…bam! There is one solution I know of that can pull this off and it is called Buildout…and it is awesome! No single solution can save you more time.
  • An email marketing solution – You need a place to house and grow your email list and market (note I didn’t say spam) to them. Email marketing is powerful if you do it correctly. Your solution needs to have a high deliverability rate and be able to tell you who has opened, clicked, etc. Your main options are Mailchimp, AWeber, iContact, and ConstantContact (listed in the order I would recommend).

I was recently interviewed for a Realtor Magazine article on this subject.  You can read more of my thoughts on CRE tech there.

Tony Robbins has made a career in studying the highly successful, systematizing what he learns, and teaching it to others.  Similarly, I have no original ideas in this post. I just see what top producers are doing.  This is so simple, but it is not easy.

My question to you is this: Do you agree that attitude and effort are what you need to join the ranks of top producers? Are you willing to put the work in to emulate them? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Greeting Bo. Great post and thank you for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I would add a 5th practice to your list- attitude. What is the reason, the “why” if you will, for being in commercial real estate? It is to make a LOT of money? Is it so be above the “unwashed masses” who sell residential properties? Is it because you woke up one day and realized you had ___ number of investment properties and said, “Why not?” I think people have to be honest with themselves about their “why.” When they do that, they will (hopefully) recognize that there is more to life than money and the toys it buys. As a CRE professional, we can help grow our communities and local economy. We can help bring back dying neighborhoods. We can partner with others who see a future better than currently exists. It can be very exciting. It can also be that extra bit of motivation to make those last few cold calls of the day.

    • Jeno – thanks for your comment. I think you “why” – your reason behind wanting to make the big bucks, etc. is a huge deal. Thanks for adding that to the conversation. By the way – I got your voicemail and I’m working on the video response. Should hit the press next week!