12 Action Items That Will Raise Your Game

Want greater success? Here are a dozen things to do right now.

By T.R. Witcher

The RE/MAX network is filled with top producers who love to share their best ideas and strategies. At a session during the 2017 R4 Convention in Las Vegas, two thriving Team Leaders outlined keys to their success, touching on aspects such as time management, systems and the one tech tool you probably don’t need as much you think you do. The panelists:

  • Travis Hawryluk, a Chairman’s Club Team Leader and Hall of Fame member with RE/MAX Real Estate Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. Hawryluk joined RE/MAX in 2008, the year he earned his real estate license.
  • Mike Minervini, a Titan Club Team Leader and Lifetime Achievement Award winner with RE/MAX Generations in Red Bank, New Jersey. “Super Mike” is a real estate veteran who joined the network as a new agent in 1999.

Want to climb higher in your career? Doing what these dynamic stars do might help.

1. Set big, consequential goals – and tell someone

In 2014, Hawryluk promised his father that if he didn’t make the RE/MAX Hall of Fame ($1 million in career earnings) that year, he was going to quit the business. “I gave myself a do or die.” The result: razor-sharp focus – and a goal absolutely crushed.

2. Start each day doing something for you

Hawryluk says his business phone doesn’t come on until 9 a.m. Any time before that is all his. He reads, exercises and plans his meals. He’s not on Facebook, and he’s not connected to his clients. “Those first hours are mine to get my day started.”

Travis Hawryluk

3. Prospect leads first; everything else can wait

When Hawryluk arrives at the office, he works his leads first. Listings can wait. Email can wait. Everything can wait. His assistants know he’s in the zone, so they give him space. “We all have the most energy in the morning, so use that time wisely,” he says. Similarly, Minervini also begins his workday with the most critical task. His team farms for new listings for several hours every morning. They work the phones but they don’t cold call. Instead, they reach out to a database of friends, past clients, family and neighbors. “People who know us, love us, trust us,” Minervini says.

4. Avoid the trap of overload

After the morning of prospecting, the rest of the day for Minervini’s team isn’t as structured. Each member stays focused on accomplishing one thing at a time. “We don’t multitask,” Minervini says. “We single task only.”

5. Ditch your phone (you can do it)

Minervini credits his jump from Platinum Club ($250,000 in earnings) to Titan Club ($750,000) in part to this one simple but harder-than-it-should-be task. “It’s the best thing I ever did – it took me two full years to create the habit. I take this thing, this addiction, and keep it on mute. It doesn’t ring, and it doesn’t ding. Occasionally I miss something, but that’s OK. Life goes on. When you talk about a life-changing move to make, this is the one.”

6. Know where you’re going

Minervini meets with his team every fall to develop the plan for the upcoming year. He also analyzes the sources of business inflow so the team can cut ineffective areas and “spend money only on what works.” Adds Hawryluk: “Your business plan must be written down. It can be a simple Word doc or even scribbled out on a napkin – but you need it in writing.” Seeing the big picture makes it easier to break down yearly goals into manageable monthly or weekly steps. It also helps you notice variations in pace as the year progresses.

7. If the timing’s right, hire an assistant

Mike “Super Mike” Minervini, RE/MAX Generations

The saying goes that if you don’t have an assistant, you are the assistant. Minervini suggests hiring someone part time to test the waters. “You’ll quickly see the benefit and want that person full time. Your life changes, your prospecting takes off and things get a lot better.” Successful agents focus on prospecting, listing and negotiating. “Somebody else can and should be doing all your other tasks. Period. End of story.”

8. Be fun (and smart) in your marketing

Minervini presents a simple but engaging game on his Facebook page, where people see photos of a listed property and try to guess its location and price. The closest guess on the price (without going over, a la “The Price Is Right”) wins a gift card. And the team follows up with everyone who posts. “This cuts to the chase. These people are interested in some level of engagement with us, whether they’re close to a move or not.”

9. Reflect your community

Hawryluk profiles local businesses on a community-focused real estate site called parkbench.com. The interviews, which have nothing to do with real estate, take about an hour. He posts them on social media, which raises his visibility and connects with other residents. “It keeps me accountable to get out into my marketplace and network with local businesses. Being known and seen is always a good idea.”

10. Create a strategic pipeline for Zillow reviews

Minervini uses a specific script to elicit reviews from clients. It happens as soon as the contract is signed – when people are happy and celebrating. The approach works, and he’s up to over 225 reviews on Zillow. “Before you spend money on Zillow, make sure you dominate your marketplace in reviews. It creates a huge advantage. Clients come to us almost pre-sold, because of the reviews they’ve read. There’s loyalty and trust built in.”

11. Share your best ideas

Neither Minervini nor Hawryluk are shy about getting together with other real estate professionals and sharing their best ideas. In fact, they relish helping others improve their careers and lives. Says Minervini: “When I was starting out in this business, a lot of people – especially RE/MAX people – helped me grow, learn and get better. Doing the same for others now is one of my favorite things to do.”

12. Know your why

Hawryluk suggests reminding yourself why you’re in the business in the first place. Knowing your motivation helps you get the most out of each day. “When you’re out late at night showing houses – instead of being home with your family – it’s good to remember why you’re out there working so hard. And it’s best if you define your purpose apart from the money.”

For Minervini, it’s following his faith, supporting his family and helping as many people as he can. For Hawryluk, it’s running a good business and pursuing a fun, active lifestyle. “To me, when it’s work time, it’s go time. That mindset makes me more productive. I know that if I work hard enough, I can have the lifestyle I want – and that’s pretty cool.”