Wouldn’t it be amazing if only ONE skill separated the $40k agents from the $500k agents? What if you could snag that corner office by applying a few simple strategies to your life? It sounds almost too good to be true right?
Amazingly, in 2018, there is one skill that most management consultants, TED speakers, psychologists, and best selling authors all agree is primary to success in any sales job
No, it’s not hard work, it’s not “people skills”, and it has nothing to do with cold calling or keeping up with technology.
It’s much, much simpler than that; It’s the ability to bounce back after failure and come back even stronger than before. It’s the hottest buzzword in motivational and social psychology. It’s even backed up by science: Resilience.
Of course Barbara Corcoran figured this out decades ago;
Okay, you’re probably a little disappointed now and that Pinterest tab sure does look tempting… After all, people are just naturally resilient right? Maybe they’re just born with it and you weren’t.
I know the feeling. It’s a common misconception and a comforting one at that.
It’s also not true and skipping this article might cost you millions over your career. Here’s why;
In 2018 science has finally caught up with Barbara Corcoran’s gut feeling. Researchers have shown that you can build resilience like a muscle. 💪
In this article, you’ll learn the seven best tips, resources, and strategies that the experts have for building resilience to DOMINATE your farm area in 2018.
Okay, grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started.
1. Realtor: Know Thyself
In order to build your resilience, you need to understand what you’re working with. You wouldn’t start a workout routine running 10 miles every morning right?
For clinical and social psychologists, the most effective tool for measuring your personality is called the Big Five Personality Scale. Think of it like Meyers Briggs’ older, smarter cousin.
Here’s how it works: Psychologists developed these five personality traits to explain pretty much all human personality (with minor exceptions of course). The Big Five Personality traits are;
Here’s Mill Dollar Listing and Douglass Elliman’s Josh Altman on the importance of knowing yourself to getting ahead in real estate:
“Don’t get mad at yourself for being someone you’re not. Just know who you are, then find the ways to let that person be as successful as possible.”
As far as changing your big five results, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you absolutely can change. The bad news is that if you are very low in key traits, you’re going to have to work harder to change.
Here’s something really interesting about the big five: there’s an ideal combination of big five traits that almost all highly successful Realtors share. More on this later…
2. Recognize Cognitive Distortions: & Confront Them
Okay. This one might sting a bit… Ready? Your mom was wrong:
In fact, according to modern psychologists, confronting your bad thoughts is actually one of the best ways to make them disappear. For good.
There’s a great reason for this: a ton of the thoughts that run through your head are flat out WRONG. Worse, since our emotions are created by language, we actually internalize a lot of these distorted thoughts as if they were true. 👀👻
Can you see how this can kill your resilience?
One of the most important tools in your kit for building resilience is confronting these thoughts as they arise and gently reminding yourself why they’re wrong or distorted. This is the idea behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which has great evidence for building resilience.
Here’s an easy way to do it:
Since most negative distortions fall into only a few categories, the first step is to label them for what they are so your brain can easily spot the faulty logic the next time it comes up. Here are few helpful labels for distortions that are likely to come up in real estate:
Black or White Thinking: The idea that you’re either perfect, or a failure. You don’t see the middle ground in the situation.
Application for Real Estate: Does losing this client REALLY mean you’re a total failure at real estate?
Mind Reading: Similar to personalization, but for other people. When you mind read you assume you know what other people are thinking. This is impossible.
Application for Real Estate: The listing agent might not be calling you back for any number of reasons.
Emotional Reasoning: The mistaken belief that just because you feel something, that it must be true.
Application for Real Estate: Just because you’re feeling nervous doesn’t mean your offer will get rejected.
Here are a few quick tips for dealing with cognitive distortions on the fly from Dr Perpetua Neo, Executive Coach & Psychologist:
“A simple way to deal with it is to get out of your head and into your body. When you regain your sense of groundedness, you can make wise decisions. Quick ways include 3 deep breaths (to reset your amygdala, the fear center in the brain that is partly responsible for distortions) and then shuffle your feet on the ground so you go back into your body. Then acknowledge how you are feeling (rather than getting upset with yourself, this is important because suppressing your feelings makes everything worse), before being rational and asking yourself “is my thought really true”. You can ask people about their opinions about you, if the fear is that they think badly about you. Or speak to others to see how they operate– often when we realise we aren’t alone, it becomes easier to handle the standards we set ourselves.
Instead, we must focus on (1) how do I amplify the great skills I already have, without downplaying them or letting my negativity obscure them (2) how do I improve on the attributes/skills I lack right now?”
To learn more about other cognitive distortions, check out this great guide from Essex behavioral Therapy.
If you want to dig even deeper, check out the amazing tools on from the Positive Psychology Program.
3. The Two Simple Questions to Ask Yourself to Build Resilience After Setbacks
Over at The Harvard Business Review, Dr Srikumar Rao gives you two powerful (and easy😃) questions to help build resilience in the face of adversity. The trick is to ask them whenever something “bad” happens so you can assess the situation more fairly.
Okay, here they are:
- “Is there any possible scenario by which this could actually turn out to be a good thing someday?”
- “What can I — and my team — do to make this scenario come about? How can we turn this event into a good thing that we can all celebrate someday in the future?”
Here’s the thing. Before you ask yourself the questions, Dr Rao suggests you think clearly about why you’re labeling the event as “bad” in the first place. What do you think will happen?
Even better, Rao says that just asking the questions will open up new realms of possibility for you. Pretty powerful stuff right?
4. Prospect, Prospect, Prospect—it Fixes all Woes.
That’s sage advice from Beverly Hills Realtor Thomas Hilal at Nourmand and Associates. Almost all top producers agree that if you keep your pipeline full, you’ll have much fewer problems with bouncing back in the first place. This way, when you do lose a client, it’s not the end of the world.
What do you do when don’t have a full pipeline or lose an eight figure client? Simple. Remind yourself to not take things personally. Here’s Thomas:
5. Get a Good Night’s Sleep Every Night (Yes, Really)
Arianna Huffington knows a thing or two about resilience. She turned a failed presidential bid into one of the largest websites on the internet.
Was it luck? Connections? Nope. She worked like crazy. Then she passed out from exhaustion and woke up in a pool of blood. That was her wake up call (no pun intended).
She went from working eighteen hour days and sleeping 5, to using that same work ethic to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. If she didn’t, we’d probably remember her as a failed presidential candidate instead of a media magnate.
Here are some tips:
- Turn off the phone: Every other agent will have their email autoresponder on too. Replying to an email at midnight doesn’t make you look like a hard worker it makes you look desperate.
- Practice Gratitude: While you’re lying in bed, quietly list 10 things that went great for you that day. This might be harder than you want it to be. Don’t worry. Even the small things count. Here’s a quick rundown on the science behind gratitude from harvard University.
- A 15 minute body scan or mindfulness meditation: The science behind the resilience building properties of mindfulness meditation are overwhelming. Here’s Harvard University again on the science. Here’s an excellent free course in Vipsanna meditation.
Stil think you’re going to make it to the top on four hours of sleep?
6. Learn The Big 5 Personality Traits Every Successful Realtor Shares
Okay, I promised we’d get to this, so here we go. Here is the ideal big five distribution that all successful Realtors share.
High in Conscientiousness—- Think Angela Duckworth’s grit. Without it, resilience is nearly impossible
High in Extroversion—- While introverts can and do succeed in real estate, extroverts will get there first.
Mid to Low Agreeableness, Openness, and Neuroticism— While creativity and an easy going nature can sometimes be an asset in real estate, it can also lead to problems. Some negotiations require a heavy hand, and creativity is rarely rewarded.
Where do you fall on this spectrum?
7. Find a Motivation Outside of Real Estate or $$$
Want to hear something crazy? Dr Bernd Irlenbusch, at the London School of Economics found that financial incentives actually HURT performance.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you don’t have a motivation outside of real estate or making money you need to find one and quick.
In her bestselling book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Angela Duckworth found one key trait that all successful people seem to share: Grit.
Remember the big five personality traits we talked about earlier? Well, grit is something like trait conscientiousness: the ability to persevere and keep working hard no matter what.
In order to keep working hard, Duckworth found that many highly successful people also loved (or learned to love) their work, practiced nonstop, and had a higher purpose and hope that went beyond career rewards.
In other words, find a purpose for your success that motivates you. It could be your family, helping your community, or even helping people find or sell homes.
Want to learn more about Grit? You can buy Angela’s book here, or check out her excellent talk at Google on how Grit helps people achieve more.
8. Learn From the Best: How Barbara Corcoran Bounced Back
Okay. Now that you’ve got some tools to help build your resilience, let’s take a look at another real world example from Barbara Corcoran’s improbable rise to success.
In this TedX talk, she goes over exactly how she picked herself up and turned a humiliating public speaking failure into a career defining moment.
I highly doubt Corcoran knew about any of the tools we talked about when she bounced back, but as you’ll see, she used almost all of them.
The Bottom Line
The one characteristic that separates average agents from the top producers is resilience. Luckily, with the right tools and some hard work, you can build up your resilience and close more deals in 2018.