man panning for gold black and white photo

The Prospector’s Creed

In January, 1948, gold was discovered in the hills of California. Over the next seven years, more than 300,000 prospectors flocked to California in search of their big opportunity to strike it rich.

It is estimated that about half of the prospectors were able to make a modest profit, with a handful truly striking it rich.  The rest, of course, came up short, finding only dirt in their pans and, in many cases, losing everything they had.

Sometime during those seven years of boom and bust, an anonymous prospector wrote down a few basic rules about prospecting for gold. The Prospector’s Creed, as it became known, has tremendous relevance today for anybody “searching for gold” as a real estate sales professional. In fact, we’ve posted the Prospector’s Creed on Vulcan DOWNLOAD IT HERE.

Let’s look how the wisdom of these 7 principles of gold mining apply to today’s world of real estate:

  1. Every mine has more dirt than gold: you don’t have to be in sales a long time to learn a basic reality-for every 100 calls you make, you might get 99 rejections. You have to sift through a lot of dirt to find the nuggets.
  2. A prospector’s job is to remove dirt as quickly as possible, leaving on the gold behind: real estate agents like to believe that every lead in their database is potentially lucrative. But it takes courage, and experience, to know how to get rid of the dirt and mine the true opportunities.
  3. A prospector who analyzes every speck of dirt won’t find much gold: put in today’s parlance, it’s “paralysis by analysis.” How often do you spend hours researching before meeting with a prospect? Those are hours that can be used to prospect. Truth is, there is no research as good as a conversation with a homeowner.
  4. Alchemy doesn’t work, no one can turn dirt into gold: you cannot motivate someone who doesn’t want to sell. Wafflers cannot be turned into gold! If someone says “I want to sell, buy my spouse isn’t sure,” move on because you’re likely going to waste your time. Learn how to throw the dirt away.
  5. Don’t get mad at dirt for being dirt-move on for the gold: you probably have those names in your database that you were convinced would turn into commission. But nothing seems to happen. it’s easy to get frustrated when bad leads don’t turn into good prospects after you’ve put so much energy into the process. Re-read #4 and know you can’t change someone who is not motivated. Then move on.
  6. Some dirt hides more than gold than other dirt: this is where your skills as a salesperson come into play. You need to know how to ask excellent, probing questions. The more you can uncover, the greater the likelihood you’ve find a gold nugget where you. didn’t think one existed. Open-ended questions like “tell me about your next move” can get a prospect talking and provide you with hints as to what their deeper motivations might be.
  7. Given the same dirt, and equal ability to identify gold, the prospector who moves more dirt finds more gold: the most successful agents understand the power of routine and persistence. Working the phones daily and having a formal follow-up strategy will help you to move through more “dirt” leading to a lot more “gold.”

Again, DOWNLOAD the Prospector’s Creed and keep it close to your work space, to remind yourself that prospecting for gold is no different today than it was 170 years ago.

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