Ask any rookie agent what they dislike most about the job, and odds most will mention prospecting.
But, it’s a basic tool of the real estate business and no one becomes – or stays – successful without continuing to prospect.
We examine some of the mental blocks that make this part of the job so hard, for to get past an obstacle, you must understand it.
- The fear of rejection. The dread of being told ‘no’ is one of our most basic anxieties, in personal or professional life. We’ve got news for you: You’re going to get turned down and over the course of your career, a number of times. We can’t stress enough how important it is to overcome this, for buying into fear will destroy your confidence and keep you from seeking new opportunities. One solution is to flip the tables and think of each call as finding a mutually satisfactory fit rather than viewing it as a potential client judging you.
- Don’t overgeneralize with negative beliefs. Don’t buy into beliefs like, ‘cold calling is dead,’ or ‘no answers their phone if they don’t recognize the number.’ Both are generalizations that will limit your effectiveness before you even make a call. Challenge those beliefs: For instance, if cold calling is dead, why do real estate agents still do it? Open your mind to the power of positive thinking before picking up the phone.
- Don’t let your mind play tricks on you. Our minds can take one seed of truth and run away with it, spinning interpretations of a few incidents into an idea not rooted in reality. If you don’t hit pay dirt in a particular neighborhood or with a type of property, you may convince yourself you lack the skills to connect with those homeowners. Similarly to the way you overcome negative beliefs, this provides an opportunity for you to be creative and take a different approach. Bounce ideas off colleagues to find fresh tactics for your next round of prospecting.
- Narrow your focus. We all have our expertise. Even new agents likely have knowledge of a market or community. Instead of casting your net wide when prospecting, home in your skill set, your contacts or understanding of markets or populations. With a narrow focus rather than a broad one, prospecting becomes less intimidating.
- Don’t jump to conclusions. For instance, a prospect who can’t take your call doesn’t necessarily mean they are never interested in talking to you. Too often, agents are intimidated by gatekeepers and fail to follow up. You are not a mind reader, so dig a little deeper into conversations with questions about availability and what a prospect might be seeking in an agent or property.
Simply put, prospecting is essential to your career. If you are intimidated, there’s no need to feel bad. Analyze what brings you stress about the task and work out the stressor.