Real estate agents are like squirrels, they go after every nut. By doing so, they sometimes miss having dinner with the family or attending recitals and other important personal events.
GREATER PROPERTY GROUP (GPG) Managing Partner Nathan Singh shared a shocking tidbit, “Realtors actually have one of the highest divorce rates of any career.”
Real estate agents shouldn’t have to choose between work and family all the time. There can be a balance.
Singh took the lead in the latest episode of the GPG Mastermind Meeting to discuss work-life balance.
One way to do it is by dictating the time of the showing while giving the client more options. If the agent is not happy about doing the showing at night, the client may be feeling the same way.
So, why not do it at lunchtime? Or at the earliest time the client can get off work.
Another thing: Build a fence around your non-negotiables.
“Your non-negotiables are the part of your life that fuel you and they fuel your family,” said Singh.
Then, when you’re doing deals at scale, you need to learn how to isolate Realtor-required activities and get rid of the things that aren’t part of your responsibilities.
In the same Mastermind Meeting, host and GPG Managing Partner David Morrell also showed a video of real estate coach Tom Ferry talking about laying the groundwork for 2022 now!
“Everything that I start sowing today has an impact–positive or negative–in the following year,” said Ferry.
Here are the things covered during the recent Mastermind:
- The work you put in now pays off three to six months from now.
- Use Buyer Needs Assessment Questionnaire when doing pre-qualifying calls with clients. Not only does it determine timing and motivation, it also shows that you are an agent who cares about the details.
- The Seller Counselling Form allows the agents to get into the minutiae of the property.
- Does work-life balance exist?
- Here’s a sentence that could change an agent’s life: “What time are you off for lunch?” If not, this may do the work: “What’s the earliest you can sneak away from work?”
- Build a fence around your non-negotiables.
- Real estate agents are predisposed to give and serve, but you need to start isolating what are Realtor-required activities and get rid of the other things.
Morrell also announced during the meeting that GPG Mastermind will have marketing executive David Shing, also known as the Digital Prophet, in a future episode.
Don’t miss an episode of Mastermind, our virtual training event where you get expert advice on how to succeed in your field of work and in life.
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Work-Life Balance GPG Mastermind Transcript
Let’s get into the discussion this morning. This will be really, really beneficial stuff for you and your business. I think this morning, I’m gonna start with the video here. It’s a really quick hitter, video. And this is, Tom ferry, Mr. Content himself. I mean, we’ve been, I mean, Tom, Ferry’s been fantastic for a lot of our meetings now, as you remember, we’ve been saying that, you know, you blink and we’re into the last quarter of the year.
Right. You know, summer’s over like that. And. You wish you had a plan for 20, 22 and started to make goals, and it’s not too early to do that. And that’s kind of the point he’s making, we’ve said this over and over again. you know, from week to week, is that the work you put in now pays off three months from now and six months from now, you know, that fill your pipelines, do your follow up, prepare for the new year.
Everything you need to do. That’s the point of this video, so I’m gonna play it. And then, we’ll get into a couple things. Everything I start installing today has an impact positive or negative in the following year. Happy new year. Yes. I know it’s August, but think about it. Everything that you installed, everything you committed to in 2020, you’re now experiencing the benefits or the negative consequences of the actions you decided on, which is why I’m telling so many people right now.
Hey, here we are on the month of August. Happy new year. Are you thinking about what you want to have happen in your life in 2022 right now, you and I both know that everything goes in 90 to 120 to 180 day cycles. So the things that I commit to today with my health and vitality with my business, whether it’s my marketing, my lead generation, my ability to attract more clients, my ability to serve more clients, everything I start installing today has an impact positive or negative in the following.
So happy new year 20, 21 is over. What are you committed to in 2022? Yeah. So he’s making the point that we make it, you know, week to week, which is, you know, put in the work. Because you’re gonna blink and it’s gonna be 20, 22. It’s gonna be the new year . So don’t take your foot off the pedal. so what are we doing about that?
Well, it’s interesting. Nathan and I have been fielding a lot of calls and doing some coaching with, agents over the past couple weeks. And one of the things that comes up quite a bit is, you know, these zoom calls or zoom meetings and phone meetings, pre-qualifying clients, both buyers and sellers, Discussion are you having with buyers and sellers as you’re qualifying them and finding out, where they are in the process of buying or where they are in the process of selling, who can tell us what the two most important things, to determine are with a buyer or seller in terms of a transaction?
We say this all the time, the two most important things, what are they? Motivation, timeline, exactly motivation and timing. Right. Those are the two most important things to, determine when it comes to a buyer or a seller. So how are we doing that? what are you using, in terms of a framework or a structure for meetings with buyers and sellers over zoom are on the phone?
You know, the first thing I’d like to point out is our buyer needs assessment questionnaire. How many of you have seen this? I think if you’ve been here a minute, you’ve seen this before, but it’s, it’s a good time to review it. the, the, where this came from, this is a few years old now. we had an agent, she set a goal of making, I think it was, I think she wrote down on her vision board $280,000.
in GCI for the year. And she did that. She actually did. I think it was $6,000. Think she made 2 86 or something like that. She shared it with everybody. it was a big win. Now, one of the things that she was doing that was a little bit different was she had a real agenda for her first meeting with a buyer.
Okay. And, and that’s when we started to develop this buyer needs assessment questionnaire, cuz she was doing something different from the other agents and she was running through a full, comprehensive needs assessment with the buyers. Right. So, the seller bomb, when we used to do the physical copies of the seller bomb, we still can.
I mean, you could still print these out and have a physical copy if you’re having an in person meeting, but these are really great to go over on the. To go over on the phone or in a zoom meeting. Okay. So you have your, you know, your client information at the top. Notice the first question here, what’s your biggest motivation for buying and what’s going on?
Are you downsizing? Are you having a life event? What’s your motivation now? Notice what type of home are you’re looking for? Right. How many bedrooms do you require? How many do you desire? Right? What do you need? What do you want? Right. what other rooms are important to. Right. Ideal floor plan, yard requirement.
What’s most important about the location of your home? Do you currently rent owner lease right? Is the age of the home important? what else is in here? do you have anyone that would like to joint venture with, do you have anyone that you would like to joint venture with if considered purchasing more than one home?
So all of these things are really, really interesting. And depending on your location, you have an MLS. On the back of it, but the buyer needs assessment questionnaire, not only does it determine the timing and the motivation, it shows that you’re an agent who cares about the details with this client, right?
And this goes a long way to not only endearing the client’s to you, it makes you look professional. It gives you an absolute agenda. Cuz what do most agents do? when they have, you know, they call an, a client on the phone or a lead on the. Right. They’ve got them on the hook. Now they’re talking about real estate.
Oh, great. I’ll put you on a search. You know, how many bedrooms, what area and that’s about it, right? Or whatever you put in the search criteria and you put ’em on a search and you leave it. When you go through an actual buyer needs assessment questionnaire with them. this will be a big differentiator cuz a lot of agents do not do this.
Do not do this. How many have a copy of this? How many have a copy of this? Two people. That’s good. I’m glad two people have a copy, four people. if you want a copy, let me know. cuz it’s very, very good. Now what’s even better than that one. what’s even better than the buyer needs. Assessment questionnaire is, is the seller counseling form.
We, I mean, we took an hour to go through this. I think it was about a year ago. the seller counseling form. See this. Seller counseling for this is really, really cool. So when you’re talking with a seller on the phone or you’re going over, you know, you have a seller appointment over zoom, this should be your agenda.
This right here, this should be your agenda. Same thing, motivation and timing, but it gets into, the minute shop gets into the weeds, the details, and people love to talk about their home. They’re selling. They love to. So bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, of course, all the, you know, the periphery stuff.
Now notice, what, what would you say are the best features of the home? When would you like this move to happen? Stay staying in the area, moving out the area, target date. When would you like it sold for, Have you done any upgrades? Are you aware of any repairs that might have done? How long have you owned a home?
Do you remember what you purchased, what you purchased it for? Have you had a recent appraisal, like, look at the details in here. Look at the details in here. This is fantastic. So this is for a seller. I mean we could really, really, take our time to go through this. we just don’t have the time today, but it’s just a reminder that we have really good tools to help us with our meetings with buyers and sellers, whether we’re it’s a phone interview, a zoom or in person.
And if you don’t have a copy of this, I encourage you to, message me and I’ll send it to you. I think it’s actually, it might be on the resource site. Never go on there. I think it might be on the yeah. And the buyer, the buyer needs assessment is in the buyer bomb along with the, the certificate for free home warranty and, and so on.
These are amazing. They really create connection, connection and, and relationship. Like if you’re trying to build a relationship with, with someone and you don’t know what you’re going to talk about, you’re kind of leaving it up to chance. Right. So you can’t, you can’t predict the outcome if you don’t know what you’re going to be going through.
So that, that’s what this really does. I love that question, Dave, when, when he said this, we have it on there. do you know anyone who would like to join venture with it, with you on this? That’s that’s a question that’s almost always gonna be no, but, but what that triggers in the mind of a buyer is is that this person possesses knowledge and expertise.
Right. Like nobody else is asking about joint ventures. They may not have even heard of that concept, but the fact that you bring it up, positions you as an expert, it, it, it creates that that trust that you’re trying to develop. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good point. So anyways, the, the buyer needs assessment questionnaire.
And the seller counseling form. I think it’s really important that you use those. If you’re having meetings, have an agenda, look professional, get all the details, right. You’re gonna have an advantage over the other agents they’re talking to possibly. Right. So just keep those in mind. If you’d like a copy, either get it from the resource site.
If can’t find it, let me know. I got no problem, me emailing it. So we’ll do that. Okay. the other thing we’ve been dealing with Nathan, I’d like you to talk about this and I know nobody. Better qualified to talk about the subject than Mr. Nathan sing. Nathan sing is the best qualified to talk about this next subject.
It’s about worklife balance. That’s what we’re talking about here. Work life balance. So there’s been, we’ve been talking to a lot of agents, recently over the last few weeks about work life balance. Does it exist? And if so, how do you find that perfect balance of work and life? Yeah, this work life balance.
This is an interesting one. This is an interesting one. You know, we’ve had a few calls. You, you may or may not know this if you’re new to the industry. but, but realtors actually have one of the highest divorce rates of any career. I don’t know if you know that or not, but it’s true. Is that true?
That is absolutely. Didn’t true. Didn’t one of the highest divorce rates because we’re Mia, we’re famous for missing our kids’ recitals. We’re eating in the car, right? Like this is . This is the stereotypical realtor life. Right. And we get burnout. We suffer from burnout cuz we’re running and we’re juggling.
we’re doing all these things and. For, for those, you know, that we don’t know super well. I, when I was a, an agent, I mean, this is sometimes before even sign and send and we had digital signing and everything. I personally was managing 70 transactions a year with no assistant and no team, no assistant and no team.
And that that’s, a tremendous amount of work. So I had to learn, a lot by necessity. Right. Like how to, how to find tips and tricks and sneaky ways to, to make that possible. because I’ve, I’ve got four kids, four kids got a beautiful wife, and a lovely family. Right. So, you know, that’s a priority.
So how do you, how do you transact 70 times a year? And still have a family that recognizes you when you come home. Right. All at the same time. Well, there’s a couple of really easy points, but you don’t know what you don’t know. so, so today there’s a couple little things that I wanted to touch on, cuz I’ve been sharing this with some of the agents one on one, and we thought we’d bring that to the whole group so that, everyone here can collapse time, you know?
So you don’t have to spend three, four years trying to figure. A couple of these really easy things that will change the dynamic of your career and, possibly save your family. just kidding. But here’s, here’s one big thing that agents struggle with. you know, and it’s kind of universal is managing our, our showings in our weekly activity, right?
Because typically as agents we’re like squirrels and we, we chase any. That’s available. Right. And if, and if that nut says, you know, can I go see this house tomorrow at six 30? Our default is, yes. Right. So what happens at six 30? You know, we’re waving by to the family eat without me. I’ll see you when you get, you know, when I get back, we’re missing all that precious time with, with the family, but there’s, there’s a couple of interesting things.
You know, that happened that way, that we don’t realize, you know, when we go do showings from six to 8:00 PM in the middle of the week, not only does that suck for us, right? Like we don’t enjoy doing that, but it’s also six to 8:00 PM for the clients as well. So you have to remember that too. It’s also six to 8:00 PM for the clients and they still have to go home and do their laundry and clean their house and put their kids to bed and so on.
And when we’re doing that, let’s say we go, we do showings from six to eight. What happens if we find a house that we want? Well, then we’re talking about writing an offer at like nine o’clock at night. Aren. And then we’re presenting that offer at like 9:45 PM. And then we’re negotiating that offer till midnight or worse, right?
or the converse. If you don’t write the offer at 9:00 PM, the clients say we really like that house, but we’re so exhausted. We’re gonna sleep on it and call you in the morning, which is the worst thing that can happen to a transaction is to have people take the time away from it. Right? Time is your enemy in sales.
Typically, depending on personality type. so here’s, here’s a sentence that changed everything for me. It changed my whole career. It changed the dynamic of my week and my family, when people would say, we want to go see these three houses, these four houses, I would ask them this question. What time are you guys off for lunch?
That’s it. What time do you guys get off for lunch? And, you know, what’s really interesting is the people on the other line, my clients, they would light up when they heard that they’d be like, oh, I didn’t even think of that. I can get off at 11. How does 11 sound? And then I’d go book my showings at 11 o’clock.
And right now, if you think about that, so many people are on zoom. They’re not even in the office, they’re actually looking for an excuse to get outta the house at lunchtime. They really are. And, and they’re looking forward to it. And when then when you show up at 11, you’ve got a coffee for them. You guys go show a couple houses, then you drop them back off.
when, when they’re ready to write the offer, if they actually like that house, now you’re writing the offer at like 4:00 PM. And you’re presenting it at a reasonable hour and you’re spending your evening at home just getting final signing, final initials. but I would actually, my Monday to Fridays, I would typically do almost all of my showings between 11 and 1:00 PM.
And guys it’s a total like existential change in your life. When you move your showings from that six to nine block in the evening, and you put them at lunchtime, it’s incredible. And a lot of people appreciate it and they don’t think it’s possible, but everybody gets a lunch break. Right. And if they can sneak away from lunch, your follow up question is, well, what’s the earliest you can sneak away from.
What’s the earliest you can sneak away because a lot of times we say this question, what time are you done work? The worst question you can ask any buyer is when are you done work? Well, I’m done at five 30 and then I drive home. I take the bus for 40 minutes, you know, I’ll have it BYD eight. I’ll be ready at quarter to seven.
That’s the answer, right? But when you say what’s the earliest, you can sneak away from work. wow. Maybe I can skip lunch. I could probably be. By 3 33, bam. You’re doing your showings from three to five. You’re home for lunch. Nobody even knows you have a job. That’s, that’s how you do it. It’s tremendous.
That will actually change the whole dynamic of your, your family of your life. And it will actually allow you to scale because you can feel like you’re working 24 hours a day doing three deals a month. Like you really can’t three deals can take up your whole life if you, if you do it the other way.
Right? So that’s the first one is managing your weekly activity. Those two questions guys, write ’em down. What time are you off for lunch tomorrow? And what’s the earliest you can sneak away from work game changes. The second is build a fence around your non-negotiables. So again, we talked about the squirrel chasing the nuts.
Sometimes we let the, the clients do all the driving and that’s always gonna happen in sales. Like we’re here to serve, we get that. but you need to build a fence around your non-negotiables. Maybe you’ve got church on the weekend or on Thursday from seven to nine, whatever it is. Be comfortable telling people the truth.
right. So I had non-negotiables I had two non-negotiables, one was Thursday from seven to nine. The other was Sunday from 10 to no non-negotiable those are my commitments. Right. so obviously you’re gonna get that phone call. Can we go see a house, you know, at eight o’clock on. and then you just tell them the truth.
Say, Hey, look, I’ve already got a seven to nine booked on Thursday, but I can go anytime before, or I’ve got all day Friday available for you, but don’t compromise on those things because cuz you’re non-negotiables are the parts of your life that fuel you and they fuel your family. Right. And they’re really the engine that allows you to serve your clients.
So it’s really, it’s not too much to ask or to express, but sometimes we need permission to do that. Right? Sometimes we need permission to say, Hey look, you’re it’s okay. Not to go out Sunday morning. If you have a commitment from 10 to noon, you simply tell your clients. Absolutely. I can be there at one anytime after one.
Right. Anytime after one. And if we want there’s one thing. Is kind of a, a really nice thing to do as well. And that is blame the, the sellers, right? You can blame the sellers for showings, a little. You know, without actually saying anything, not true. so let’s say, let’s say your kid has a as a soccer game.
you know, it’s at noon on Saturday. Kid’s soccer game is at noon. It’s gonna take an hour and a half. So from noon to one 30 it’s prime time showings, you gotta be at your, your kid’s soccer game. your buyer calls and says, Hey, can we see this house at noon? And you look at your wife or your husband, and you look at your kid and you’re like, I’m a dead man.
If I book this right. If I miss this soccer game. So what you do, you simply say this and write this down too, because it’s very powerful stuff. You tell your client, well, let me see what’s available and I’ll get back to you. And then when you get back to them, you say, we can get in there at 11 or two o’clock.
Whichever works better for you, 11 or two. And then you’ve, you’ve bought, booked your showing when you need it. You’re at your soccer game. You’ve got your family happy. You’ve filled up your tank and then you can go see the house at two o’clock as well, but you actually give them more options. Right. But you’ve structured it around your non-negotiables.
Right. Just tell them when you can. Right. So if it can’t be noon, then you say, well, they can do 10, they can do two, they can do three. And most people, you know, just be happy to let them move their schedule around. Cause they’re only dealing with one realtor. So when they make an adjustment, it’s just for one person, but as a realtor, you know, the busier you get, I know some people here are working with more than 10 clients currently.
So 10 people, you know, you’ve gotta be able to, to have some control, especially over those non-negotiables. so those are two big ones. Your non-negotiable. Scheduling out or, managing your weekly showings activity. And this third one is kind of a, a secret cherry bomb on top of everything guys. when you start to, to do deals at scale, right?
And you start to do a lot of transactions, you need to start to, isolate what are realtor required activities and what things you can get rid of. This is a really, really important thing because amen. Amen. Yes. Right? Yeah. Like we’re, we’re naturally disposed to, to giving. As realtors are serving, being helpful.
You know, service is kind of like, we even put that on our, on our business card sometimes. but when we start, when it starts to come at the expense of other things, you know, we need to take a good look at that. Right. Cause we don’t want anybody, getting burnout. We don’t want anybody, you know, having, having issues with that.
One thing that I did out of necessity was a very interesting one. I stopped when my buyers would buy a house or we would write an offer. Typically the next day, a realtor spends this day picking up checks and dropping them off right at the, at the other brokerage, you’ll pick up a deposit check, you’ll drop it off at the other brokerage.
G G we’ve made a where I think we’re the only brokerage that has over 600 deposit drop offs. Because we do any Scotia bank, you can drop off at ours. unfortunately other brokerages don’t offer that. So you literally have to go to their office to drop off a deposit check, which is sometimes across town.
Right. And you can imagine if you’re in Toronto, you gotta drop this deposit, check off and it’s an hour each way. you know, there goes your day. What if you wrote three offer? You’re driving all around Ontario for crying lot. so I created something called the congratulations email after my buyers would buy a house and I would send this out.
As soon as our offer was accepted. I’d say way to go, go look at your inbox in about half an hour, and that’ll give you your homework for tomorrow. And in that inbox, it was the congratulations email. I’ve got it here. I’ll show it to you. and basically what. Did was, it took all the homework that I had to do and gave it to the person who’s actually responsible for it, which is the buyer.
Cuz I mean, I didn’t buy a house. They’re the ones that bought a house. Right. so take a look at this. Can you see this? So this is, this is one that I saved. And here it is. You just bought a house. Hey Mike, congratulations on the purchase. A couple of quick things we need to have done right away. Here is your to-do list.
A the deposit check number one. So I’m not spending tomorrow driving around this ties up the property while we do our inspections in financing, make it out as follows. I would spell it. Was 5,000 Royal page. Drop it off tension here, all the details, right? Send us a copy here. Drop off no later than Tuesday during business hours, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And then the home inspection. Let me know when you’d like to book our home inspection. Financing conditions. Send me your mortgage. Person’s contact info. If I don’t already have that. And then the con condo document review. Another question about condo documents. This little email was probably the most useful, I would say this shaved off hundreds of working hours out of my real estate career.
One simple email. I, I stopped driving deposit checks around for houses. I didn’t. Right. I stopped sending, you know, three separate emails to talk about the home inspection and the financing and the condo review. It all went away. All of that extra work that’s associated with the purchase disappeared into thin air.
And so the next day, you know, cuz it’s funny if you’ve ever bought a house, you know, you realize that as a buyer, the day after your offer gets accepted. You’re like running around, like filled with energy, wondering what to do, like what do I do now? We just put an offer on a house. And so when your realtor tells you, actually you need to drive across town with this check, you need to drop it off.
You need to do all this. They like it. And realtors think, you know, we’re, we’re not doing your job. If we don’t go pick up the check, but the buyers actually like doing. Like gives them something to do guys, and then it actually pushes them further through the transaction. So three, three little things there.
the magic, congratulations, email, building a fence around our non-negotiables and of course, managing our week out that can go a long way with, with work-life balance. So enjoy that hope, hope there’s some value in that because it’s a, it can be a game changer and allow you to scale your business.
You know, three transactions taking up 24 hours a day. Okay. We got, we got bigger applause now, so that’s good. No, this is good stuff, guys. This is good stuff. And you know, sometimes this takes a while to learn, you know, it takes a while to learn. If you read, if you’ve read, Ryan Sirhan’s new book, big money, energy, he talks about that.
He talked about, and you can imagine a guy that busy. He did have to build a fence around his non-negotiables. He did because as agents we feel guilty. Right. If we’re on a beat somewhere or at the tower of Piza, we might feel a little guilty, right? When a client calls, like I’m not supposed to be taking vacation.
And actually Ryan talks about that in his book, he goes through the psychology of it. We feel guilty to, you know, take recreation, spend time with our family when a, when a client calls. But if we are busy, you know, and we’re having. Difficulty navigating that we do have to build fences around that. The other thing that this reminded me of is, is Nathan should not be handling deposit checks at all.
right. He should not be, he should not be. And we all know why we all know why he may have heard that story. my favorite story of all time. my favorite story of all time, but, yes, those are those little hacks. Three one. Well, they’re not little, the wreck’s pretty big, but you know, discussed over the last few minutes.
They’re major they’re major, man. You know, Nathan, like I said, is the most qualified four kids. I don’t know how he does it guessing emoji. I don’t know how he does it. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. I mean, he’s really, really good at it. And so thank you.