By Jim Droz

Get a job! Say what? Most real estate agents would be offended if someone yelled that sentiment at them. But the statement is true because when you pursue a career in real estate, you’re not getting a job, you’re opening a business. And to prosper, you must think along those lines.

The dictionary defines employee as “a person employed by another for wages or salary.” Employees work scheduled hours and perform tasks determined by others. They have limited responsibility and their ability to prosper is in the hands of others.

These are difficult times in the real estate industry, but agents still can control the important things by thinking like a business owner and treating the profession as a career. When things slow down it’s time to invest a greater percentage of your time and income back into the business. If other agents pull back or pull out of the industry altogether, that’s a greater opportunity for you to increase your market share.

In every market atmosphere there are going to be people who have to sell and others who want to buy. Because the number of existing buyers, hopefully for the time being, is shrinking, you need to get a greater percentage of those who are still in the marketplace. There are a number of ways to accomplish this, but following this blueprint is a good place to start. As a business owner, you must:

Generate a consumer need and desire for your product.
Convert leads into a profit source.
Provide an outstanding level of service and customer satisfaction.
Create individual brand recognition.
Maintain your office’s existing and future clientele by building residual income.
Protect your office’s image and reputation.
Focus on profitability.
Determine how and where to reinvest profits back into business growth.
Build security by investing net income wisely.
Balance business responsibilities with your personal life.

Prioritize and attack the chores on this list one at a time. The first order of business is to create a consumer need for your product. That product isn’t a list of houses or rules and regulations a client must follow. The product is you and the services you’re capable of and willing to provide. You must sell yourself before you can sell houses. A lead generation system such as the one provided by HouseHunt is only the first step. The buyer or seller will ultimately be working with you, not a system.

Attack this list in an organized and manageable way, or tweak it to fit your needs or personality. Create, implement and perfect a system for each area before moving on to the next task. The key is to manage your business or office as an enterprise you can be proud of. Ultimately, if you think like a business you won’t be in the business of thinking about another line of work.

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