What We Can Learn from Spiders to be Successful Realtors – by Dana Sparks
Let me start by telling you how much I hate spiders (except of course for Charlotte!) Actually I hate all things creepy, crawly, slithery, slimy… you get the point! So why a post on spiders and what on Earth can they teach us about being a successful Realtor? Read on! There is a spider who lives on the ceiling of my covered porch. Every night, I leave the porch light on for my husband so he will have light to the front door when he gets home. Every night when he gets home, as soon as I hear him pull in the driveway, I open the front door and step onto the porch to welcome him home! So one night, before my husband arrived, I noticed this spider spinning her web. I was grossed out and asked my husband to get rid of the web. He replied, “Baby, it’ll be gone in the morning, she spins a new web every night.” Perhaps due to my arachnophobia, I was unaware that spiders built there creation EVERY DAY. So this spider received a reprieve and I decided to observe her actions over the next few evenings… wowzers what a lesson!
If Realtors acted more like spiders, they would be more successful and have a more consistent business! Here are the 5 most salient lessons from my very own “Charlotte’s Web.”
1. Start every day at the very beginning: My husband was right (my husband is ALWAYS right!) this little spider builds this magnificent web every single night! Every single night, she starts at the very beginning and does not quit until her web has been spun. What if YOU were to start every single work day at the beginning… what would happen to your productivity? I postulate that it would skyrocket! If you began each workday by generating new business in whatever manner you choose, you would never cease to have any number of customers with whom to work. INSTEAD, most agents begin their day (& carry out the majority of their day) servicing the business they already have! Whether that be putting out fires, sending a fax, taking earnest money to the HUD listing agent, emailing a co-op agent… all of these activities, while necessary, do not generate new business nor help you achieve and sustain a successful career in real estate! Consider starting every day as if you had no business to service and generating business first before you do anything else…. imagine the steady stream of customers you would have!
2. Build a foundation and branch out from there: When a spider begins construction, she always starts with a foundation. She throws out a strand of adhesive silk and when it sticks to something, she reels it in and then carefully walks along that single strand adding another silk fiber to strengthen it. She continues this process creating a “y” shaped netting forming the foundation of the rest of her creation. After she has this sturdy foundation, she spins her web in sometimes intricate patterns yet always useful in achieving her goal! So many times, a Realtor will attend a great seminar or workshop on a new method of gaining business. This information can be extremely useful and effective but NOT at the abandonment of the basics! You must build a steady foundation of generating business and rely on that daily and only then branch out to try new things to ADD on to your foundation. If you call Expired listings, do that daily and then try your hand at timed twitter posts. If you send out postcards to 300 Sellers in default daily, then start there and THEN start a blog site to gain additional business! In other words, definitely try new and exciting ways to find more people to assist but remember that you cannot spin your intricate web without a foundation on which to build it!
3. Find an effective marketing plan that works for you: Every evening my little Charlotte builds her web on our front porch but in a slightly different location. Some nights, if I leave the porch light on all evening, she’ll build it very close to the light in order to capture all the moths. Other evenings when I do not leave the light on all night, she’ll spin her web closer to the far edge of the porch which is closer to the street light. Many nights, the location may be similar, but her web is anchored in different places or may be at a slightly different angle. What I have noticed is that Charlotte constructs her creation every night in a way to prove more effective for her nighly goal! How often do you evaluate the effectiveness of your endeavors? Do you have a way of determining the effectiveness of your various marketing plans? prospecting methods? targeted areas / demographics? Do you ask your customers how they found out about you? What made them choose you? In other words, make sure to learn from spiders and assess and adjust and what you do to be the most effective Realtor you can be not only in terms of generating business but in servicing ongoing business and servicing clients after the close of a transaction!
4. Go after the highest priority first and wrap up the rest for later: Now this is the most disgusting part of my investigation, yet still instructional! When this spider catches something in her web, she jumps right in goes about her work quickly and effectively! If she only catches one insect, then that “customer” gets 100% of her attention. When she is having a “busy” or “productive” evening, she will make sure and greet each new bug immediately (by wrapping them up in silk) and attacking the biggest bug first… then going back to the wrapped-up ones later! (I told you this part was disgusting!) Nevertheless, the lesson is valuable! When a new customer first contacts you, it is vital to respond to them immediately or they may get away! Do what you need to do to “wrap them up” temporarily until you have the luxury of being able to spend more time with them. Give your attention to the client who needs it the most but not at the expense of others! Do not ever appear too “busy” or too “productive” to be able to greet a new customer and gain the opportunity to turn them into food for your business! (pun intended lol lol lol)
5. Don’t give up if something negative happens… start again tomorrow: Sometimes our little spider anchors her web to a flower pot I have sitting on the deck of the front porch. Sometimes our German Shepherd walks across the porch right through that one anchor filament to Charlotte’s web. When that happens, it destroys the entire structure and the spider cannot do her job that evening and will not be able to catch any bugs. Does she get upset and give up and decide to never spin a web again? Does she decide to never spin on the porch again? No! Of course not! She will begin her work anew tomorrow evening! What a fabulous lesson for Realtors! When you get a negative result, when something does not go your way, when you have a bad day, recognize that is all that it is… ONE bad day! Do not give up! Start again tomorrow! You have a job to do in the profession that YOU have chosen! Chalk it up to an isolated circumstance and start with your foundation again tomorrow! If you continually spin your web in a location that constantly gets thwarted, change your area (marketing methods, location, targeted demographic, price range, means of prospecting, etc!) Do not give up, just make an adjustment! There are so many people out there that need your assistance and there is a good living to be made by helping others with their real estate needs… do not give up!
“The itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain.
And the itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the spout again!”