What differentiates effective, successful agents from those who aren’t seeing results? According to broker and new Inman contributor Joseph Santini, it’s the willingness to lead-gen consistently.

Before we enter this business as brand new real estate agents we have such grand visions of what’s to come. Fancy cars, expensive lunches and exotic vacations. The numerous television shows that we see onscreen fuel these images of the real estate business being fast and an easy ride to fame and fortune. 

Fast forward one year after being in the business, and you have the same car, no time to eat lunch and no plans for a vacation any time soon. So what happened?

The good news is that you can achieve remarkable success both personally and financially in the real estate business in a short amount of time — and have fun doing it. The real estate agents who are able to accomplish this get one thing right. They figure out early on how to become an expert in lead generation for themselves. 

There is no waiting period on getting good at lead generation and being successful. You do not have to be in the business for two years and take endless classes about real estate. You do not have to wait until you have more experience. You can decide today that you want to do this, take massive action and start being successful right now, not later. 

Never confuse talent with time in the real estate business. There are many agents who come in, focus on the money-making activities and achieve success sooner rather than later. We also see people in the business for 20 years who have only done 10 transactions. 

Here are the 3 things that you must master to become your own lead-generation machine

  1. You must only work on the things that lead to a paycheck.
  2. You must be disciplined enough to do them effectively and consistently.
  3. You must be willing to do what nobody else wants to do.

Do these things and no longer will you have to depend on someone to give you a lead or worse yet pay for leads.

I see many seemingly talented people running around all day really busy in this business. 

At least it seems that way. They are working 12 hours a day, their hair is messy, and they look tired. They probably even feel great because to them they are very busy, and they feel busy. 

The problem is the activities they are working on all day will not lead to a paycheck. They are taking classes, previewing properties, working on their websites, etc. While doing these things has a place in their business, they are usually avoiding things like making phone calls and setting up appointments with buyers and sellers.  These are the activities that lead to paychecks.

We need to understand that if we are not on a listing appointment or showing properties to buyers, we really are not working toward a paycheck because that is the only way that we can get paid. The other stuff just doesn’t really matter. Sometimes we just confuse being busy with being productive. Being productive is much more fun and usually easier.

We have all met the great agent who never took a class, barely checks his email and does not have a website but is making a lot of money.  This is an agent who understands what is important. Often what we think is important really is not.

No. 2 is the challenging one. Doing the required lead gen work can be tedious and boring. Many agents will do it one day and then skip two days. They will avoid lead-generation activities like the plague. 

You must get serious about lead gen and find your own personal motivation to do it every day. Your activity level must be high on this, and once you realize that this is what is required to make it in this business, you are halfway there.

Making calls, doing mailings, calling your sphere, knocking on doors, etc., is where success lies. The good news is the more that you do lead gen, the better that you get at it. Raise your activity level, and raise your income. 

Doing these activities effectively and consistently pretty much guarantees your success, and making the six-plus figures that you are looking for assuming that you are effective at them. Sounds easy right? 

So why isn’t everyone in real estate making six-plus figures if it’s so simple? The answer is that most people just will not lead gen consistently every day. They just will not do it, period. They try, but the discipline and motivation are just not there. They often look to other places for success while they avoid the obvious path to success that is right in front of them.

The definition of discipline is doing the things that you don’t like to do, but doing them like you love to do them.

Look around your office, and you will see many of your colleagues just waiting for the business to come to them in some magical way. The top producers in the office, the select few, have this all figured out and do what is needed effectively and consistently. They are not doing anything magical, by the way. They have just become expert lead generators for themselves.

Be willing to do what most people in your office are not willing to do, and success is yours.

Here is your game plan that you can start today.

Lead generate a minimum of 2 hours a day, 5 days per week

Start slow and build up to two hours if you have to. Practice and use scripts if you are not getting appointments saying what you are currently saying. Scripts work.

Do not let anyone interfere with your lead gen time. Absolutely nobody. Many things will come up. You will look to not do it, but you will remember why you’re doing it and push on.

Remember that the agents who you see driving around in fancy cars, eating expensive lunches and going away all the time are not doing anything special. They are just expert lead generators, and you can be, too.

Joseph Santini is a managing broker at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Boca Raton, Highland Beach, Delray Beach in Florida. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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