Can Booming Markets Conceal Mediocrity?

The real estate agent’s prayer goes like this: “God grant me another boom and I promise I won’t stuff it up this time”. Such is the prayer of the mediocre salesperson.

Some salespeople are what I call ‘Market Victims’. When the market is booming, they do well, but when the market is falling, so too do their results.

Winners know how to thrive in any market. Sure, when the market corrects, there might be an adjustment period while they change tactics, but once they do, winners start selling properties again.

While booms do offer up challenges of their own, they do conceal mediocrity.

I had a conversation today with an agency owner with three agencies. Two are doing well and one is not. His market in Western Australia is depressed. So what is the difference between the two offices that are doing well and the one that isn’t?

The answer is: Winners.

There is activity in the thriving offices – prospecting and relentless marketing. Everybody is involved, including the salespeople. Nobody is exempt from prospecting, from seeking new business. And guess what? The salespeople are making money.

Contrast this to the struggling office. The salespeople do not prospect. They rely on office marketing for their leads. They think that office-generated leads are their God-given right. Their personal activity is low. They sit and wait for business.

And they slowly starve.

All three offices are in similar markets. All were trading during the WA boom, and all are trading now with mostly the same people.

During the boom all those salespeople needed to do was list properties and the boom took care of the sales. Now they have to work. Listing properties is fairly easy, but working with the sellers to help them understand the market takes skill.

For these salespeople, mediocrity began during boom times. When sales flowed they truly believed that their skill was the reason why they were doing so well.

But they weren’t training, and so they weren’t ready when the market changed. They grew lazy and now find it easier to blame a tough market than face the truth: they do not presently have the skill and motivation to succeed in their current market.

Winners do well in any market, not just during booms. Mediocre salespeople who struggle when markets turn ‘interesting’ had better keep praying for the next boom.

Gary Pittard

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