At the beginning of "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent", Gary Keller opens with a story of a shepherd guarding his flock and spotting a wolf. When taking aim at the wolf, the shepherd recalls sage advice given to him; "Aim high". The shepherd hits the wolf and Keller strikes the theme for the book.
The initial concern when beginning your read is the advice will not be practical in terms of real estate sales strategy, but will instead lean toward self-help. The inclusion of passages from motivational speaker Anthony Robbins suddenly brings concern. But the initial advice provided launches the overall direction for the book. Look for specific events or goals to plot your successes against, and with the goals established, create a model to plan out success. It is the creation of models that provides the crux of Keller's advice.
"The truth about ability is that it is neither set nor predetermined. However, it can be developed or it can be wasted." – Gary Keller
The exercise of modelling is explained in detail, allowing you to examine an overall goal and break it into a series of "ceilings". Once a ceiling is broken through, a small goal is completed that contributes to the overall goal. Once completed, a re-model is done, establishing the needs for the next goal's success to work toward the next level. This process repeats until the goal is achieved.
Keller uses his experience in the business to well and plainly describe the rules and tricks to help break down a large goal into several smaller tasks, all within the context of real estate sales and revenue. For example, Keller describes "The 3 L's" that are key to the success of your business: Leads (your potential clients), Listings (your sellable items) and Leverage (your people, systems and tools to bring leads to your listings).
- Leads: Leads represent your potential clients you eventually sell to. You as a real estate agent have two jobs; your normal job, and then lead generation. The key for lead generation is to create your own traffic instead of being given them. By creating your own leads, you have a stronger sense of the quality.
- Listings: Listings represent your wares, controlled by time, the current market place and the potential of the future. The listings represent your marketing opportunities to bring leads to your market place.
- Leverage: This is the tools, systems and people you use to bring the right listings to the appropriate leads. Make sure you use the right tools and have good hires in place to succeed.
The "3 L's" provide the strong basis of understanding of the necessary equipment and team members you'll require to bring success to your business. Keller takes steps to break down misconceptions and misunderstandings on his overall plan for success in the "Mythunderstanding" section. In this segment, he describes putting all of the risks and doubts you are concerned with in your plan and ask "Why not?" In this way, he describes the riskier element to your sales growth is in fact inaction and not well-planned action. Keller also recommends failure should have a degree of acceptance. In that manner, you are able to learn, with nothing ventured, nothing gained.
By changing your focus to your approach on particular problems in your business, Keller provides nine different ways to think about your particular issues, analyze them, ensure you are centred and act appropriately. The nine steps outlined cause you to:
- Focus on goals and not the money associated with the goal
- Create forward-thinking and motivating thoughts
- Assess your standards and service; standards of your practice and achievement, and the service you provide to your customers
By first thinking of your purpose, you think first of the value you provide and not focus on the monetary value. Your service provides the money, not your clients.
Another tip of analysis and modelling Keller provides is the "80:20 Rule", a rule stating 20% of the appropriate action will produce 80% of your results. The key in this modelling principle is to determine what actions you take that are generating the most results and refine those actions. In detailing this, Keller provides visual cues to illustrate how to look at your business critically, providing eight different goals that help determine what your "goal numbers" are and then your "actual numbers". In this, it is the goals that provide the path for your model and therefore your business.
What truly makes this book worthwhile is Keller's fundamental business model explanation. Keller details the economic, lead generational, budget and organizational models you can use to truly create a critical view of your business, allow you to determine goal numbers and generate the actions you need to meet those numbers. In a step-by-step manner, you are taken through the steps of creating economic data for analysis as well as effective lead database management. Keller spells it out simply and effectively, providing different lead management processes, budget modelling and even descriptions of how to assess your staff. The section on determining your good hires from the poor ones will have you eyeing your staff to see who your strong providers are.
Once all of these basic models are described, these explanations are aligned with the "Millionaire" version of the model, giving you the benefit of the experience of others, showing in true examples the validity of the models.
Every path is explained and all viewed through the prism of "What does it take to make a million?" Keller has you take these lessons and focus on them to bring optimal gains across your business. He even provides you with tips on how to stick to plans once they are made, regardless of distractions or pitfalls.
Many books on how to make your first million would leave you there. Not Keller. This book not only helps you plot out your course to your first million, but what to do once that goal is achieved. Once the goal is hit, the new ceiling is generating the next million and the million after that. Keller helps you redirect your focus , examining the planning and modelling that landed you there, and develop, retain and expand your resources, leads and of course revenue.
Keller sums up this work with words describing how to remain top of your business, market and career. By developing goal management plans, focusing on the important aspects of your business and effectively balancing time management and your near-and-long-term goals, you are provided with a strengthened plan and invigorated to succeed. You will immediately want to start looking at your business under the different scopes that Keller describes. It's truly motivating.
Initially, "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" ran the risk of being a self-help book filled with esoteric descriptions of non-plans. It quickly becomes a context-focused book on how to succeed in the industry. By reading this book, you are given the tools and ideas to garner the most out of your work, your team, and above all, you personally.
Five Things You'll Learn from "Millionaire"
- Be a high achiever in every engagement: No matter what situation is thrown at you, never instantly act in the negative. Look always at the positive. Whenever you are asked "Can we do that?" answer "Why? Did someone say we couldn't?"
- Manage your thoughts: It is the state of mind you have as you approach your business that will determine your success with it. Ensure you are focused on positive, forward-thinking planning.
- Creativity without models will leave you rudderless: Models provide you with the science of your business. Without the necessary planning you will find yourself listless without well-defined goals letting you plot your course.
- Empower your people: By properly engaging your staff and getting your team acting as a team, you immediately create a direction for your team to follow you to success. People want to work, and providing direction fuels their efforts.
- Use the 80:20 rule: Once you figure out what the 20% of your efforts are that generate 80% of your results, refine that process. Conversely, if you find that you are diverting efforts to activities not contributing to your success, drop them.