The Power of P - Part I
Virtually everything we do in our business careers can be described using a word that begins with P. You might already have seen me describe Active Rain as a Pleasant, Positive, Personable, and Professional Place.
"Eat your peas" my mother often said. "They'll make you grow up big and strong." Little did she know that I would one day be practicing P's instead of eating peas (still hate peas).
I'll share with you today two P's, beginning with....
Understand that there are very few original ideas, including those in this document (other than the Presentation itself, based on the letter P, and that comes from my Partner). Everything in this document is the result of experience, education, and a desire to listen, read, and learn. Much of the reading included books by Jay Conrad Levinson (the Father of Guerrilla Marketing), Ivan Misner (founder of Business Network International), Robert Schuler, and Zig Ziglar. Remember, though, that one can read all day long to get new ideas, but if one never gets up off one's butt to go imPlement those ideas, they are basically worthless. Be an imPlementer.
The following P's are in no specific order since many of them will be used concurrently. However,
I do believe that the first six:
- Practical, and
are, indeed, the first things you should do. They will create the foundation for your business upon which all the other P's will help you build.
As with anything in life, if you think some of these P's can help you, then use them. If you've already imPlemented them, great! If you don't think they can help you, then by all means don't use them. It truly is your choice.
It's usually fairly easy to find a Product, whether it be services or something Physical. Differentiating your Product or your competition is a little more difficult, but it can be done. I'm reminded of a hamburger joint in west Houston called Dead Solid Perfect. They had been around for many years, and their sign outside said, "Dozens of hamburgers sold," a play, of course, on McDonald's "Millions sold" (at that time). The last time I was in Houston, a McDonald's, a Wendy's, and a Burger King had been built close by, all so close to each other that we called it "Burger Corner." Guess who's Parking lot was full from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. the next day? Sure, the Big Three had their rush hour success, but when rush hour for lunch and supper were over, their Parking lots were empty. Dead Solid Perfect created their success by offering something that the Big Three did not.
Part of determining your Product is in differentiating yourself. That can occur in several ways, such as by being open for longer hours than your competitors, having a wider selection of goods or services for sale, better customer service, etc.
I do many things that my competition doesn't do. For example, I do answer the Phones 24/7, including holidays and sporting events. I realize that many of us got into real estate, became self-employed, so that we could spend time with our families. But if answering the Phone means getting a listing on a million dollar home, or helping a young couple buy their first condo (and coming back to me when they upgrade to a house), I'm there! Even with gas being expensive, I can find the time and the money to show some Properties to those who are interested.
If one really wants to make money as a Realtor, I would suggest that you build the greatest foundation Possible. Once that foundation is built, you can decide what type of house to build on it. Building that foundation, however, might require some significant work and time on your Part during those first few years. Unlike Geico.com, it's not so easy that even a cave man could do it. Building a company is hard work, very hard work, so if you're not Prepared to do that work, Perhaps it might be wiser to return to your Previous job where you had a steady income, sick leave, and vacation pay, or stay in your current job if you're not in business yet as a full-time Realtor. Frank, but realistic.
At the bare minimum, you have to meet your competition. If your competition in your farm area has nice color flyers on heavy card stock, that's Probably the minimum that you will need to do. So first determine what your competition is offering, and then offer more.
Every job and every career includes things that we don't like doing. To determine if you have found a career, create a Top 10 list of those things you like doing, and those things you don't like doing, and then analyze them to determine if you've found a career or if you're still just working a job. If the Positives outweigh the negatives, then you've Probably found your Product. I call the Product a career.
Tomorrow, The Power of P, Part II.
Be sure to visit my other blogs:
- G-O-L-D! Or how to use your time wisely
- Why I only recommend one home inspector, and only one
- Safety, safety, safety