Before I started my business I was a Realtor.
I was 28 years old, new to Tucson, Arizona and I was working for a hot new real estate company. Lucky for me there was a program for new agents that paired us with a seasoned veteran who taught us the ropes. I’ll never forget the day Cathy told me, there are two ways to price a house.
1.Price it the way the owner wants.
2. Price it according to market data.
I was feverishly writing down every word she said because everything I learned in Real Estate school said that pricing was incredibly important. It’s the difference between selling houses in three months or less and having properties sit on the market. When a property sits, guess who the owner is not happy with? That’s right, you, their agent!
What do you do if the owner doesn’t want to listen?
What if they don’t care about market value because they own the most beautiful house in the neighborhood, full of sentimental value? She said, most won’t listen and the reason is because they are not very motivated to sell their home. It would be nice if it sold, but they do not NEED it to sell. So price it the way they want with the agreement that you get to change the price in three months. Even though I was only in real estate for one year, Cathy was 100% right! Motivated clients listened to me and their house sold when priced according to what the market was willing to pay and unmotivated clients argued with me, delayed the process, and still didn’t get the price they wanted.
I often revisit this insightful conversation in my business today.
What does this lesson have to do with your business? I’ve been online for two years now after being offline for seven and I am convinced that there is a whole lot of fairytale thinking out here. What do I mean by this? Far too many working online are unwilling to look at what the marketplace is telling them. Recently in a conversation on Facebook a lady asked if certifications were necessary and what pricing was “best” and I loved that only ONE person on a very long thread said, the only way to know is to test it and see what the market says.
If you aren’t getting the results you desire, the marketplace is telling you to make adjustments.
Here are the top four areas I see the marketplace is continuously guiding us in.
- Communication~If you aren’t regularly adding people to your email list, your group, and to your client list, it’s because you are not effective communicating. Either you are not asking at all or you are not asking frequently enough. If you are asking and not receiving it’s because your audience has no idea how it will benefit them. The value is not obvious and you’ve got to find a better way of conveying it. I’ve seen all kinds of personalities do well in business but one thing they all have in common is they are great communicators!
- Innovation~If you are passionate about what you do, but can’t seem to break into the money, it may be time to take a step back. What are you doing that is unique in your industry? Do you look and sound too similar to everyone else who does what you do? How are you innovating your business so it stands out? What conversations are you willing to have that your competitors are not? Reach into your experience, your education, your hobbies, your one of a kind attributes and come up with something fresh!
- Self expression~Some may see this as the same as communication but I have found it’s not. It’s the sizzle that can only be added after clear and consistent communication is in place. How self expressed are you? Do you find it fun and easy to feel a wide range of emotions? Do your videos, blogs, and marketing take others through a series of emotions? Do you make people feel anything when you show up? Most don’t even realize how shut down and suppressed they are until they find themselves struggling to connect with others in their business. Without self expression there can be no intimacy and without intimacy we can’t expect loyal, raving fans.
- Leadership~There are a million ways to define leadership, but this is what I want to focus on today. If you are not out front, further along on the path and always calling your audience higher, then why would they pay you? Are you coming off like too much of a peer, a friend, constantly comforting and coddling them? Are you afraid to challenge your audience? No one will follow someone they perceive to be less of a leader than they are. No one. Leaders are rare and they are well compensated there’s just no way around it!
What motivates you and what is the marketplace telling you?
These two are worth looking at all year long in your business.