Book Review: Shift – How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times

Shift – How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times
Shift – How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times by Gary Keller

The only constant in the real estate market is it will fluctuate. What differentiates the top sellers from those who fail, is the seller's ability to negotiate the dry spells and generate business creatively with what they have. When a shift appears in the market, Gary Keller outlines how to appropriately react in his book SHIFT: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times, and the changes are not as far-fetched as you'd think.

Across North America, many real estate agents tout the quality of the information in SHIFT, and for good reason. It is within the pages of Keller's book you find his description of what the market shift is and what your personal shift is to react to it. Keller outlines the cyclic market shifts and presents the 12 tactics you can use to negotiate your way through the turmoil. Keller's thesis is that as real estate agents, it is important to manage your behaviour in the sales trough while waiting for the next peak to occur. The result is being able to align your client's and your own economic expectations against the present market volume. Keller details the oscillation of inventory between a buyer's and seller's markets and outlines the anatomy of national and local shifts, all the while providing definition of each type of shift.

"If you can shift gears – shifting both your thinking and your tactics – you will accelerate ahead of the rest." – Gary Keller

It is the laws of equilibrium in the markets Keller explains and gives the reader the means to react and exploit the shifts, providing agencies with the resilience to withstand the hardships of the market. Once described, the 12 tactics are spelled out by Keller, giving you the mental tools you'll need to prepare for shifts. What stands out across Keller's 12 tactics is like the shifts in the market, you require shifts in your plan of attack. Static use of the "tried and true" is a recipe for failure. It is these tactics that help elevate your sales game and enrich your selling experience. This reaction of a Mental Shift to respond to the Market Shift allows agencies to be resolute in a fluctuating market.

Shifting Gears
If you can shift gears, you will accelerate ahead of the rest.

The use of a "Plan B" is vital to Keller. He dictates not only is a Plan B necessary to have, it is necessary to action. What differentiates the success from the failure is the presence of a plan of action that provides you as an agent with a way out of tight market situations, and implementing the plan accurately. Keller's tactics are fundamental in getting your Plan B together. Plan B will be different for different agents in different markets, times and abilities, and Keller helps define the overall steps for the action plan, allowing you to formulate your own strategy. Keller's process outlines how to do more with less resources in a drier market, and let go of your belief of what "should" be done traditionally.

"When change affects your plan, plan effective change." – Gary Keller

Keller's section on the management and generations of leads is what makes this book, getting you to move past the need to aquire any lead and wait for the appropriate lead. Keller challenges you to discard what you have traditionally done and analyze objectively the best means to garner leads within your current economic paradigm. Depending upon the gravity of the situation, the plan will probably be more outside the box. The section describing how to take lead generation six steps further is one of the most thought-provoking sections for people who believe that burying a sign in a yard is what constitutes "lead generation". The steps that follow are not only logical and have been sitting in front of all of us are inspiring.

Keller also provides tips on conversation steerage, using helpful language to close sales more consistently. This coupled with managing pricing ahead of the market and "pricing persuasion" are new items you can add to your sales arsenal. Add to this Keller's discussion on time and task management to help you organize your time and work more effectively on what's important. Keller also takes time to describe the best ways to time selling and home positioning so the market does not trap the seller underneath the market.

Shifting Gears
Gary Keller - Co-founder of Keller Williams Realty

Keller's style is conversational in nature, making this an interesting and easy read that you'll find hard to put down. His analysis of the market and how to manage it gives both a holistic view of the overall market behaviours as well as a granular look at the day-to-day processes that can be used to come out on top no matter what the circumstance. Upon completion of this book, you'll come to the conclusion that SHIFT means "sales".

Five Things You'll Learn from "Shift"

  1. Shifts happen: Fluctuations are going to happen. They are a given so prepare and accept them.
  2. All systems tend towards balance: Highs will tend to lows. Lows will pass and become fruitful. Every system tends to find balance. When accepting a shift in the market, make your plan trying to anticipate this balance.
  3. Prepare your business: In drier markets, make sure that you are able to do more with less resources and prepare your business in advance for market shifts.
  4. Prepare yourself: Motivate yourself, your staff and your client base in order to drive out sales in high periods and maintain excellent service in low periods.
  5. Use every resource possible: Don't just generate one lead. Maximize your marketing dollar and bring more potential customers to your fold. And always be closing.

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