Strategic Thinking – The Essential Ingredient for 2020

Strategic Thinking – The Essential Ingredient for 2020

Suze Cumming | January 14, 2020

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While customer service and project management matter in real estate, the agents at the top of the market in 2020 and beyond will need to develop and demonstrate strategic thinking skills.

Charging a full-service fee for trading in real estate puts a significant responsibility on you to get outstanding results. This doesn’t happen by chance. A great real estate transaction, whether from the buyer side or the seller side, is about getting your clients’ needs met. Yes, it is about money but it’s also about timing, process, risk and meeting their psychological needs.

What is Strategic Thinking? It’s generating and applying unique business insights and opportunities to create a competitive advantage for your client. Real estate is highly competitive and fast paced. What worked best today may not be what will work best tomorrow.

You need to do more than follow the status quo when serving your clients.

Here’s an example: Let’s say it’s a seller’s market and your buyers are in a multiple offer situation. In your market area, it is typical for offers to be unconditional and to have large deposits delivered with the offer in the form of a bank draft. So – there is no strategic advantage to doing that. Your buyers will need to do those two things, but that doesn’t give any advantage. It just gets them in the game. So, what do you need to do to help them win? Think strategically; this means being creative, thinking outside the box and figuring out what will give your clients a competitive advantage in this unique situation. There is no stock answer.

Strategic thinking cannot be scripted, templated or copied. To think strategically you need to train your thought process to be open, creative and unbiased, while remaining rational. It means seeing new perspective on critical and complex issues. Strategic thinkers challenge conventional ways of doing things and can analyse and synthesize both material and psychological data.

Going back to the offer example above, to win for your client you will likely need to understand the market data and the details about the property but equally as important, is the psychology of the seller, the seller’s agent, the competing buyers and their respective agents. By synthesizing all of that data you may be able to come up with something that will win the property for your client.

Perhaps the sellers have a fear of the transaction not closing. They’ve heard nightmare stories from friends, and you decide to eliminate that fear to put your client’s offer to competitive advantage. You may choose to show the seller a copy of your client’s bank statement showing a down payment in excess of that required to close on the property in the event that the appraisal is lower than the sale price. (Get written permission from your client). This may satisfy a psychological need of the seller and tip the competition in your client’s favour.

Thinking strategically will help you get better results for your clients. Mastering this is critical to sustained success and demonstrating strategic thinking will help you attract new clients. Next week we look at how to be sure your clients know how your strategic thinking is getting them better results.

Suze Cumming | January 14, 2020

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While customer service and project management matter in real estate, the agents at the top of the market in 2020 and beyond will need to develop and demonstrate strategic thinking skills.

Charging a full-service fee for trading in real estate puts a significant responsibility on you to get outstanding results. This doesn’t happen by chance. A great real estate transaction, whether from the buyer side or the seller side, is about getting your clients’ needs met. Yes, it is about money but it’s also about timing, process, risk and meeting their psychological needs.

What is Strategic Thinking? It’s generating and applying unique business insights and opportunities to create a competitive advantage for your client. Real estate is highly competitive and fast paced. What worked best today may not be what will work best tomorrow.

You need to do more than follow the status quo when serving your clients.

Here’s an example: Let’s say it’s a seller’s market and your buyers are in a multiple offer situation. In your market area, it is typical for offers to be unconditional and to have large deposits delivered with the offer in the form of a bank draft. So – there is no strategic advantage to doing that. Your buyers will need to do those two things, but that doesn’t give any advantage. It just gets them in the game. So, what do you need to do to help them win? Think strategically; this means being creative, thinking outside the box and figuring out what will give your clients a competitive advantage in this unique situation. There is no stock answer.

Strategic thinking cannot be scripted, templated or copied. To think strategically you need to train your thought process to be open, creative and unbiased, while remaining rational. It means seeing new perspective on critical and complex issues. Strategic thinkers challenge conventional ways of doing things and can analyse and synthesize both material and psychological data.

Going back to the offer example above, to win for your client you will likely need to understand the market data and the details about the property but equally as important, is the psychology of the seller, the seller’s agent, the competing buyers and their respective agents. By synthesizing all of that data you may be able to come up with something that will win the property for your client.

Perhaps the sellers have a fear of the transaction not closing. They’ve heard nightmare stories from friends, and you decide to eliminate that fear to put your client’s offer to competitive advantage. You may choose to show the seller a copy of your client’s bank statement showing a down payment in excess of that required to close on the property in the event that the appraisal is lower than the sale price. (Get written permission from your client). This may satisfy a psychological need of the seller and tip the competition in your client’s favour.

Thinking strategically will help you get better results for your clients. Mastering this is critical to sustained success and demonstrating strategic thinking will help you attract new clients. Next week we look at how to be sure your clients know how your strategic thinking is getting them better results.

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Drive Results Through Excellence

Drive Results Through Excellence

Suze Cumming | January 8, 2020

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When a person or an organization is excellent at what they do, the demand for their services is strong and attracting clients is easy.  Nowhere is this more true than in real estate.

I know this first hand from the top agents that we coach.

If you think you are excellent at selling real estate but are having trouble attracting enough clients, it’s time to take a deep look at what excellence in real estate is.

Let’s use an analogy:   A Massage Therapist.

Think of a massage therapist who is exceptionally good at what she does.   She will have a roster of regular clients and a wait list for appointments.  People will book weeks or months in advance to reserve their spot on her schedule.  She won’t have to do any marketing or prospecting at all.

Now consider a massage therapist who is pretty good at what she does.  She is very interested in the human body, has studied hard and cares about the people she hopes to serve.   All good and important traits but not enough to be considered excellent.  While some of her clients will see her consistently because they like her, many will not and more importantly, most will not refer her to other people.

Should this pretty good massage therapist spend time marketing and prospecting her services, or should be get better at her work?

Obvious right?  But in real estate, almost all the training and coaching you’ve been getting is about prospecting and marketing and not about getting really good at real estate.

So, what does excellence in real estate look like?

While caring about your clients and being passionate about homes helps drive excellence, it is not in itself important.  What is important is what the client experiences when they work with you.  Each client is unique and has unique needs, expectations and goals.  Our ability to understand our clients deeply, from their perspective, adapt to that perspective, and then deliver on those needs, expectations and goals is at the heart of excellence.

It’s harder than it initially sounds but as your skills in the area of human connection, professional empathy, strategic thinking and negotiations develop, you will see remarkable changes in the way people interact with you.   They will see you as the expert and enthusiastically work with you to obtain their desired outcomes.

You’ll be trusted, respected and appreciated.

And enthusiastically referred.

Suze Cumming | January 8, 2020

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When a person or an organization is excellent at what they do, the demand for their services is strong and attracting clients is easy.  Nowhere is this more true than in real estate.

I know this first hand from the top agents that we coach.

If you think you are excellent at selling real estate but are having trouble attracting enough clients, it’s time to take a deep look at what excellence in real estate is.

Let’s use an analogy:   A Massage Therapist.

Think of a massage therapist who is exceptionally good at what she does.   She will have a roster of regular clients and a wait list for appointments.  People will book weeks or months in advance to reserve their spot on her schedule.  She won’t have to do any marketing or prospecting at all.

Now consider a massage therapist who is pretty good at what she does.  She is very interested in the human body, has studied hard and cares about the people she hopes to serve.   All good and important traits but not enough to be considered excellent.  While some of her clients will see her consistently because they like her, many will not and more importantly, most will not refer her to other people.

Should this pretty good massage therapist spend time marketing and prospecting her services, or should be get better at her work?

Obvious right?  But in real estate, almost all the training and coaching you’ve been getting is about prospecting and marketing and not about getting really good at real estate.

So, what does excellence in real estate look like?

While caring about your clients and being passionate about homes helps drive excellence, it is not in itself important.  What is important is what the client experiences when they work with you.  Each client is unique and has unique needs, expectations and goals.  Our ability to understand our clients deeply, from their perspective, adapt to that perspective, and then deliver on those needs, expectations and goals is at the heart of excellence.

It’s harder than it initially sounds but as your skills in the area of human connection, professional empathy, strategic thinking and negotiations develop, you will see remarkable changes in the way people interact with you.   They will see you as the expert and enthusiastically work with you to obtain their desired outcomes.

You’ll be trusted, respected and appreciated.

And enthusiastically referred.

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Have the Courage to Thrive in 2020

Have the Courage to Thrive in 2020

Suze Cumming | January 2, 2020

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Long term success comes from having the resiliency to change and evolve with the times.

Are you ready?   2020 has arrived and with it the excitement, the possibilities and the uncertainty.   Our world is changing fast.  Faster than ever before and Real Estate is changing right along with it.  Change is inevitable and those who evolve with the changes will not only survive, but thrive.

The changing of the calendar year is bitter sweet.   On the one hand, we feel a sense of renewal and a chance to begin again.  On the other, we reflect on our world and acknowledge a certain amount of concern and worry.

The climate is changing and ignoring this fact would be catastrophic.  (watch for nasty comments from deniers)

Real Estate is changing and ignoring these changes, while not catastrophic, could be career ending.

The changes in Real Estate are exciting.  What we are seeing in the US is a foundational change in the way real estate is traded.  Canada lags behind and this gives us time to prepare and adapt so that we are ready to serve our clients in the way they want and deserve to be served.

This is evolution.  Those who adapt will survive and those who don’t fall by the wayside.  This is natural selection. We are not separate from nature, we are nature.

I am committed to delivering the information, the tools, the perspective and the strategies to help REALTORS® who want to thrive in the new real estate environment to succeed.   2020 will be the year that The Nature of Real Estate becomes more courageous.

Are you with us?

Change is hard but as successful entrepreneurs, you’ve done hard work before.   This is just a different kind of “hard”.  It’s not necessarily more hours, more speed and more exertion.   It’s more reflection, more acceptance, more strategy. It’s being open minded to seeing things in a new way.   It’s going deeper, not faster.

Let’s start by calling the people who buy and sell real estate citizens instead of consumers.

Let’s see those citizens as people who need help making important decisions about housing, not as leads.

Let’s focus our learning on how to serve our people better and not on how to make more money.

We have a runway.  Let’s use it to improve our skills, commit to serve and be ready for the significant changes that are coming our way.

 

Suze Cumming | January 2, 2020

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Long term success comes from having the resiliency to change and evolve with the times.

Are you ready?   2020 has arrived and with it the excitement, the possibilities and the uncertainty.   Our world is changing fast.  Faster than ever before and Real Estate is changing right along with it.  Change is inevitable and those who evolve with the changes will not only survive, but thrive.

The changing of the calendar year is bitter sweet.   On the one hand, we feel a sense of renewal and a chance to begin again.  On the other, we reflect on our world and acknowledge a certain amount of concern and worry.

The climate is changing and ignoring this fact would be catastrophic.  (watch for nasty comments from deniers)

Real Estate is changing and ignoring these changes, while not catastrophic, could be career ending.

The changes in Real Estate are exciting.  What we are seeing in the US is a foundational change in the way real estate is traded.  Canada lags behind and this gives us time to prepare and adapt so that we are ready to serve our clients in the way they want and deserve to be served.

This is evolution.  Those who adapt will survive and those who don’t fall by the wayside.  This is natural selection. We are not separate from nature, we are nature.

I am committed to delivering the information, the tools, the perspective and the strategies to help REALTORS® who want to thrive in the new real estate environment to succeed.   2020 will be the year that The Nature of Real Estate becomes more courageous.

Are you with us?

Change is hard but as successful entrepreneurs, you’ve done hard work before.   This is just a different kind of “hard”.  It’s not necessarily more hours, more speed and more exertion.   It’s more reflection, more acceptance, more strategy. It’s being open minded to seeing things in a new way.   It’s going deeper, not faster.

Let’s start by calling the people who buy and sell real estate citizens instead of consumers.

Let’s see those citizens as people who need help making important decisions about housing, not as leads.

Let’s focus our learning on how to serve our people better and not on how to make more money.

We have a runway.  Let’s use it to improve our skills, commit to serve and be ready for the significant changes that are coming our way.

 

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Manifesting Intentions

Manifesting Intentions

Suze Cumming | December 26, 2019

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Here at the Nature of Real Estate, we’ve started talking about our intentions for 2020.

We recognize that making foundational shifts, in our own businesses, and in the world around us, takes more than just a resolution; but here is a starting point:

 

What do you want to achieve in 2020?

What is important about that?

What are your options for how to work towards it?

What is your first step?

 

We know some of you are going to have some pretty awesome goals for the next year, and we’re excited to watch them come true.

 

Suze Cumming | December 26, 2019

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Here at the Nature of Real Estate, we’ve started talking about our intentions for 2020.

We recognize that making foundational shifts, in our own businesses, and in the world around us, takes more than just a resolution; but here is a starting point:

 

What do you want to achieve in 2020?

What is important about that?

What are your options for how to work towards it?

What is your first step?

 

We know some of you are going to have some pretty awesome goals for the next year, and we’re excited to watch them come true.

 

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Working Together in a Changing World

Working Together in a Changing World

Suze Cumming | December 12, 2019

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By Ali Calladine

Time Magazine has just announced Greta Thunberg, 16 year old Swedish climate activist, as the person of the year (to almost nobody’s surprise). Amongst years of presidents, researchers, tech execs, and so on, Thunberg stands out to me in one particular way. It’s not her youth that sets her apart, but her completely non-individualistic approach.

The huge wave of support behind Thunberg is crossing oceans, cultures, and generations, and normalizing a view that monumental changes are needed in our society. Thunberg does not speak to individual accomplishments, or actions. She speaks to a society that needs to come together and support each other in a massive shift. She is constantly sharing her spotlight with other organizers, scientists, and indigenous youth. Her being recognized as person of the year tells us two things about where the world is at right now:

  1. We’re ready for foundational change
  2. We know we can’t do it alone.

What does this mean for the Real Estate Industry?

This industry is one that touches almost every person (at least those who can afford homes), which means that as the world changes, the industry changes. We don’t know what will shift in the coming years. Between tech, affordability challenges, the climate crisis, and changing cultural values, we’re primed to see some big shifts.

So where’s the connection?

  1. Be ready for foundational change

Adaptability has always been one of humanity’s strong suits, and if there is anything I’ve learned in my 3 years connecting with Realtors, it’s that those who embrace change are the ones who thrive, and who serve their clients to the highest degree. This industry includes everyone, which means open-mindedness, respect, and leaning into diversity are essential qualities to being adaptable and successful. Beyond that, embracing tech can mean serving your clients better, but it’s crucial to stay clear about what is most important, and how to preserve that.

  1. Know you can’t do it alone

When it comes to industry specific changes, working together is the second piece we can learn from Greta. Tech companies will challenge the current models of real estate. If Realtors can stand together for what it is that they do that matters, what policies best protect buyers and sellers, and be a part of the conversation about what the fairest housing models look like in the future, the impact will be mighty. In an industry full of intelligent, effective lone-wolves; it’s certainly going to be interesting (and exciting) to see people work together to uphold their beliefs.

I’m excited to see how Realtors will be a part of emerging housing models, and the changes rippling across our society. Real Estate is a backbone of the economy, society, and livelihoods of our populations, and we need great people with a high bar of both knowledge and ethics to support the industry through changes to come. Thank you to all of you who are already doing that work.

This will be Ali’s last Blog Post with the Nature of Real Estate. In 2020 she will be moving on to work more directly with global issues, and pursue higher education.

Suze Cumming | December 12, 2019

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By Ali Calladine

Time Magazine has just announced Greta Thunberg, 16 year old Swedish climate activist, as the person of the year (to almost nobody’s surprise). Amongst years of presidents, researchers, tech execs, and so on, Thunberg stands out to me in one particular way. It’s not her youth that sets her apart, but her completely non-individualistic approach.

The huge wave of support behind Thunberg is crossing oceans, cultures, and generations, and normalizing a view that monumental changes are needed in our society. Thunberg does not speak to individual accomplishments, or actions. She speaks to a society that needs to come together and support each other in a massive shift. She is constantly sharing her spotlight with other organizers, scientists, and indigenous youth. Her being recognized as person of the year tells us two things about where the world is at right now:

  1. We’re ready for foundational change
  2. We know we can’t do it alone.

What does this mean for the Real Estate Industry?

This industry is one that touches almost every person (at least those who can afford homes), which means that as the world changes, the industry changes. We don’t know what will shift in the coming years. Between tech, affordability challenges, the climate crisis, and changing cultural values, we’re primed to see some big shifts.

So where’s the connection?

  1. Be ready for foundational change

Adaptability has always been one of humanity’s strong suits, and if there is anything I’ve learned in my 3 years connecting with Realtors, it’s that those who embrace change are the ones who thrive, and who serve their clients to the highest degree. This industry includes everyone, which means open-mindedness, respect, and leaning into diversity are essential qualities to being adaptable and successful. Beyond that, embracing tech can mean serving your clients better, but it’s crucial to stay clear about what is most important, and how to preserve that.

  1. Know you can’t do it alone

When it comes to industry specific changes, working together is the second piece we can learn from Greta. Tech companies will challenge the current models of real estate. If Realtors can stand together for what it is that they do that matters, what policies best protect buyers and sellers, and be a part of the conversation about what the fairest housing models look like in the future, the impact will be mighty. In an industry full of intelligent, effective lone-wolves; it’s certainly going to be interesting (and exciting) to see people work together to uphold their beliefs.

I’m excited to see how Realtors will be a part of emerging housing models, and the changes rippling across our society. Real Estate is a backbone of the economy, society, and livelihoods of our populations, and we need great people with a high bar of both knowledge and ethics to support the industry through changes to come. Thank you to all of you who are already doing that work.

This will be Ali’s last Blog Post with the Nature of Real Estate. In 2020 she will be moving on to work more directly with global issues, and pursue higher education.

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