Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results

Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results

I see many new  agents come and go in our industry.  As the market changed in the last two years many inexperienced and weak agents began to find themselves lost.  On Oahu our market is much stronger than most in the country, yet we have seen a decrease in the number of closings.

I have lost count of how many struggling agents have spoken to me in the last year asking advice.  Most were not willing to follow the advice.  Several of them have either left the industry or have stopped doing business all together.

Here is my advice to struggling agents.

  • If what you are doing is not working, do something else.
  • Increase the number of hours a day you spend on your business.  Be prepared to work many more hours.
  • Get all the training you can get.  Get your designations.
  • Team up with a productive agent.
  • Market, market, market.
  • Be creative
  • Have fun
  • Be sure you are in the right office for you.
  • This should be first.  Have a business plan!

There is a common denominator between most struggling agents.

  • They work less than part time.
  • They are doing exactly what they were doing a year ago, no changes or adjustments.
  • They spend none or next to no time or money on marketing.
  • They do not go after designations and do not take training classes.
  • They have no business plan.
  • They are not having fun.

My departing tips to remember:

  • This is not an easy business, you must have a plan.
  • You have a lot of competition; you need to differentiate yourself from the others.
  • There is no substitution for training and hard work.
  • When deciding whether you are cut out for real estate, you need to consider whether you are willing to do what it takes to succeed in this industry.

Aloha and have a great 2008!

 

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Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 67 commentsRandy Prothero • January 16 2008 08:49AM

Comments

good words - even better is how to improve.  This is true for any of the industries tied to real estate.  Thanks for posting this!

Posted by Matthew Rosov, Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist (Amerisave Mortgage Corporation) over 10 years ago

Randy,

Thanks for the pointers.....we sometimes loose sight of what it takes to correct us...even if it is just a minor adjustment.

Posted by Daniel J. Brudnok, REALTOR, SRES, e-PRO,ABR,GREEN,CSP (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach, REALTORS - Exton - PA License #RS-225179-L / Delaware License #RS-0025038) over 10 years ago
Randy-great advice!  This market requires everyone to make adjustments.  Some will succeed and others might not.  None of us can be too quick to point the finger we need to spend our time on our business and not someone elses!
Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 10 years ago
Randy, you make some very valid points. Most of the people complaining about  down market are just sitting around the office complaining. I'm a big believer in face to face..you HAVE to get out of the house and office. Great advice!
Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Fan of AR) over 10 years ago

Matthew - Thank you

Dan - I have a very simple philosophy.  If it ain't working don't keep doing it.  Now if we could teach that to government.

Cindy - There is no substitute for spending time.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Linda - Many of those complaining are even too lazy to go to the office.  Many are home complaining.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
"Most were not willing to follow the advice."  That sentence right there Randy is key.  Those that will listen and put a plan in action are the ones that will make it.  Its one thing to struggle, but to sit around and complain, I can only listen to someone complain for so long without seeing them willing to make the effort.  
Posted by Steve Scheer, Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate (Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers) over 10 years ago
I've always found it interesting that you can share your successful business practices with another agent, take the chance that they will take your idea and run, but 9 times out of 10 they never do. Many of these complainers want that easy fix, and there is not such thing.  It is called hard work.
Posted by Chelle Gassan, NOVA Realtor and Stager (RE/MAX Regency and Staged Homes VA) over 10 years ago

Right on the money, Randy.  One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.  It might work in quantum physics, but it does not work in real estate.

I think the most important advice you give is to Have A Plan.  Second to that would be to Execute the Plan.

Good advice and a good post.

Posted by Tim Lamont (CBRB - New England) over 10 years ago

Hi Randy,

Great points!  3-5 years ago anyone could get a real estate license and with a little work, make a good income.  In today's market, you have to go back to the basics and work harder and smarter. 

Posted by Dan Weis, CincinnatiRealEstateGuy.com (Comey & Shepherd Realtors) over 10 years ago

Every buyer/prospect is not the same. So every agent/broker is not expected to be the same. What works for some may not work for others. You make some very good points.

Sometimes its not the strength of the wind that takes us to our destination, rather the adjustment of the sails.

Posted by Mott Marvin Kornicki, Waterway Realtors, Notary Public 786-229-7999 (Waterway Realty, Realtors® • Broker • South East Florida •) over 10 years ago
Good advise Randy! Any suggestions on the changes you would make or advise others to make?
Posted by Doug Lindstrom over 10 years ago

Randy - Love the title because I think they define that as stupidity......I had to elevate above that myself early in my career.  The best advice I believe you laid out is really simple, Increase the number of hours a day you spend on your business.  Be prepared to work many more hours.

This isn't a 9-5 gig....never will be.

 

Posted by Jason Sardi, Your Agent for Life (Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina) over 10 years ago

Randy...

LOL at your title...

Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity :)

P.S. RE is not for faint of heart :) 

TLW...ROAR!  

Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) over 10 years ago

Most people do not have the mind set of being an entrepreneur. That is really what Realtors are: working for themselves, but not by themselves. I think everyone would agree that you work harder and longer, but because you enjoy what you do, it doesn't feel like work.

So if someone doesn't understand the 'fun' that Randy was speaking of, then they are probably in the wrong business. Whatever that may be.

Posted by Tara Colquitt, Credit Counselor (Tara Colquitt, The Credit Woman, LLC) over 10 years ago

Great Advice....  I agree with some of the comments that REALTORS don't act as if they are their own business.  You have to think of yourself that way, you are an entrepreneur.

Posted by Debbie Summers (Charles Rutenberg Realty ) over 10 years ago

I've heard on many of the self improvement/motivational audio programs that the definition of "insanity" is trying to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Posted by Karl Burger, Pensacola Real Estate News (ERA Beach Ball Realty) over 10 years ago

Here is my advice to struggling agents.

  • If what you are doing is not working, do something else.
  • Increase the number of hours a day you spend on your business.  Be prepared to work many more hours.
  • Get all the training you can get.  Get your designations.
  • Team up with a productive agent.
  • Market, market, market.
  • Be creative
  • Have fun
  • Be sure you are in the right office for you.
  • This should be first.  Have a business plan!

 
As a newer agent, I have to comment that some of these are just not that easy.  Yes, I work all the time, and yes, I just got one designation and am 2/3 of the way to another, but it's not so easy to team up with productive agents--especially if you are not in the right office.  And getting in the right office is really difficult (due to the housing boom) because the other offices are full. 

So I just keep plugging along, according to my business plan. 

Posted by Eliese Pivarnik, GRI, RSPS, ABR Broker, Colorado Group Realty (Colorado Group Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago
You have to evolve with you business. Great post.
Posted by Frank Rizzo (Cornerstone Realty Partners) over 10 years ago
You hit the nail on the head with every point that you made.  It IS a lot of hard work -- you DO have to love what you are doing!  If you don't have a PLAN you don't know where your are going.  Excellent advice.
Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 10 years ago
Isn't this the same as the definition of insanity? We do have to adapt and work harder!
Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) over 10 years ago
Isn't this the same as the definition of insanity? We do have to adapt and work harder!
Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) over 10 years ago

Steve S - Most people who fail are just not willing to make the commitment.  That is OK, they just need to realize where the problem is.

Chelle - I have no secrets.  I am not the most successful by far.  I do know what I have to do if I want more success.  I have made a decision about how much time and effort I am also willing to spend.

Tim - Thank you

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Dan - No forgiveness in this market.

Mott - Well said

Doug - It depends what they are already doing or not doing.  The most common thing I see is they are doing nothing.  It is easy to give advice there. (Do something)

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
We are of like minds. I talk to people all the time you want improvements in their life but are not willing to do anything different. If you have been doing it the same way for years, and not getting results, it time to do something different.
Posted by Wayne B. Pruner, Tigard Oregon Homes for Sale, Realtor, GRI (Oregon First) over 10 years ago

Thanks Randy for a great post!  I am determined to change the way I do things in 2008 and will not stop until i succeed.  It's already starting to pay off with 3 new listings this past week and 1 more to be listed this week.  Thanks again for a great post and great advice.

Posted by Pamela Carter, Realtor, SFR - Archdale/Trinity NC Real Estate (Ed Price & Associates) over 10 years ago
Love this - maybe we are in the same program where the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?
Posted by Emily Lowe, Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty) over 10 years ago
Randy, it's amazing what can happen when you make a plan and stick to it.  I think that this will be the make or break year for many MORE agents.  If you don't have a plan, what the heck are you doing running your own business?
Posted by Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Real Estate Broker (Crescent City Living LLC) over 10 years ago
Good points!  We have to step out of our comfort zone sometimes to find success. 
Posted by Katie Evans (Keller Williams) over 10 years ago
Aloha, Randy. I would add also to ALL agents, be a continuous learner and continue to get education from every avenue you can along the way. Doing the same thing over and over that's not working is definitely the mark of insanity.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 10 years ago
So many things to do and so little time to do it in!  What is a reasonable start-up budget for marketing?  Everyone wants my money!
Posted by Marsha Cleaveland, GRI, AHWD, CNE (No longer in the sales business) over 10 years ago
There are great agents out there who run their real estate like a business, and these are the agents that will succeed and survive year after year.  It takes all of the qualities you have listed in your points above, as well as a willingness to network , and above all else, to serve your clients with true real estate market knowlege.  Keeping a postiive and sincere attitude should be woven into everyday practices for surefire results.
Posted by Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant (Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision) over 10 years ago
Good points to ponder in 2008. Yes there is not much money to go around. How do you know which are the BEST to invest in? You go thru a couple programs and there you are broke again.
Posted by Robert L. Brown, Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic (www.mrbrownsellsgr.com) over 10 years ago
As an experienced agent...normally I concentrate on just listings but I have stepped up dealing more with buyers and renters and landlords at the moment. My Internet lead base is starting to keep me busy and I hope to be putting a few small deals together through my leads. I have also sold a few of my listings and lost one due to absolutely nothing in 6 months but hey...you lose one you gain two,
Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Jason - I agree if someone is looking for 9 to 5 they are in the wrong line of work.

TLW - Definitely not for the faint of heart.

Tara - If they are not having fun, they will never last.  You just get burned out.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Debbie - Absolutely.

Karl - I thought that was the definition of Government.  LOL

Eliese - Business is never easy. That is why many can not make it here.  If you have a goods plan and execute it, you can work through the tough parts.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Frank - For sure.

Joan - Thank you.

Gary - I was once told we all have to be a little crazy to do what we do.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Wayne - I just spoke to an agent today who is in that category.

Pamela - Congratulations on the new listings.

Emily - Now if we could teach that concept to our politicians.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
We all need to understand that to succeed in this business we need to look to the future. I guess we have a lot of crazies around!
Posted by Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty, Florida Space Coast Homes (Waves Realty) over 10 years ago

Aja - Good luck, sounds like you have a plan.

Lisa - You are right on the money.  If you do not have a plan you should not be in business.

Katie - The amazing thing is that most who try to stay in their comfort zone are not comfortable.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Great advice and so true.  Our market is starting to pick up.  We had a good 2007 and are having a great start to 2008.  However, every day agents come into my office and just keep saying how bad the market is.  They're the same ones who won't take the time to make phone calls or spend any money marketing.  This is a great time to take extra training courses, go to seminars, listen to CDs while driving, and read books.  Knowledge is power.  It's always the top producers who you see at everything.
Posted by Joyce Jewell, GRI, ePRO, ASP, ABR, SFR, RSPS (Jewell Real Estate Agency) over 10 years ago

Gary - I am of the same mind on the education.  I have 5 designations and certifications                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             and am going to get one or two more this year.

Marsha - That is a decision that has to be made according to your plan on how you are going to market.  For example I do some things that are effective and cost very little and then I have some advertising.

Rebecca - I like you last point.  I do not know many negative people who are very successful.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Robert - Some of it is trial and error.  I have a pretty simple system.  If every agent in town is advertising in a certain publication, I do not go there.  I like to be noticed.

Neal - I have made a goal of improving and increasing my internet presence this year.  I now have to better budget my time to make it happen or hire someone to help.

Team DiMuria - There are a few who are less than stable.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Joyce - You hit that one.  I take a class and the room is mostly filled with top producers.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
You said it all!!  Have a plan, do it, have fun, and get educated!  I agree
Posted by Kim Carpenter, Lake Winnipesaukee REALTOR -Lake Winnipesaukee Real Estate, NH (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago
Kim - Thank you
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Randy,

 Great points! I would have to add that for me and my business, it has been learning to make better use of my time, remembering I am in sales and prospecting/generating leads is the name of the game!! Working more is definately key as well. The other thing I would suggest is to learn your numbers for both your market as well as what it takes/costs to get a lead and how many leads one needs to close a deal

Posted by Josh Ross (RE/MAX PROS) over 10 years ago
Josh - Real good points.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

I'm a new REALTOR having some difficulty getting started -- ActiveRain always gives me a jump start to my day and a nice way to end my day, always so much good advice.  Perhaps everything that I learn on ActiveRain will help to bring a client my way.  Thanks, Randy.

Posted by Sallie Williams, REALTOR - MBA, Baton Rouge (Keller Williams Realty RED STICK PARTNERS) over 10 years ago
Randy- A good list......can't make people see the need to change, but sooner or later it might become self evident.....:)
Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) over 10 years ago
Sallie - It takes time to get traction.  The first few months are tough.  You just have to work like crazy to get it going.  Also watch what the successful agents are doing and use some of their strategies.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Kathy - Some will never get it.  they will just move on.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Excellent post Randy - here is my thought about your comment, "When deciding whether you are cut out for real estate, you need to consider whether you are willing to do what it takes to succeed in this industry."

At the beginning, you have to make that decision based on this unknown factor - you have to go with your gut - because if you THINK you can make it, you will generally provide the PROOF that you can make it. If you think you CAN'T make it, you will definitely prove it to be true.

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) over 10 years ago
Dawn - True only to a point.  As in any business you need to do your research and have a business plan before you start.  If there is no plan and no goals you will most likely not succeed.  Success does not happen by accident.  It takes planning and hard work.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Randy, this one is right on the mark! 
Posted by David Matney, Omaha, NE Real Estate | Omaha, NE Homes For Sale (BHHS - Ambassador Real Estate) over 10 years ago
Good points and a good reminder for agents.
Posted by Monica Bourgeau, Business Coaching (New Phase Business Coaching) over 10 years ago
Good advice. Have to work hard to make it in this market.
Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

David - Thank you

Kevin and Monika - Thank you

Bob & Carolin - I wonder what some agents would do if the market got tighter.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Randy, you're on a roll, Great post, and so true. The market is what the market is, we have to go do it and make it happen, the old ways and methods are gone. If you hadn't built a good referral network to keep you going, you have to change the way you are reaching new customers. 
Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 10 years ago

Way to Go Randy!!

No matter how "bad" the media sais the market is, people still need a place to live and the beat goes on and on.....If you are not out there working making contacts, nothing will come your way.

 

Posted by Shari George (Coldwell Banker Tomlinson) over 10 years ago
Great post. It is definitely not easy!
Posted by Christy Powers, Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent (Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners) over 10 years ago

Missy - Very true.

Shari - That is the part that many forget.  People need a place to live and there are many who have to move.  Not counting death and divorce.  Even in a slow market things are still moving.

Christy - Nothing worth while is easy.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago
Doing the Same Thing and Expecting Different Results - is the very definition of Insanity, according to How to Mind Read Your Customers-David Snyder.  Although I forget this sometimes, it is on point and a strong statement.
Posted by Heather Fitzgerald, REALTOR Greenwood Indiana Real Estate (REALTY WORLD-Harbert Company, Inc.) over 10 years ago
Randy, this is a great post, and I must say, if you're having fun, everything else seems to fall into place.  I have a real passion for this business, which makes it fun for me, which makes me do whatever I have to do to succeed.  That includes all the other things you mentioned, none of which seem like work, because I'm having too much fun! 
Posted by Ryan Hukill - Edmond, Realtor, Team Lead (ShowMeOKC Real Estate Pros of KW Elite) over 10 years ago

Heather - Reading clients is usually not that hard.  If they are extremely happy you will know.  If they are not, than we need to look at why not.

Ryan - It make s huge difference if you are having fun.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

Great reality post Randy!  Well said!  Your definition of insanity works!  I tell agents all the time at my seminars you have hte same website, the same marketing scripts, the same listing presentations of everyone else in your office...that is also struggling, what makes you think that you will do better than them?

Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (RE/MAX Paramount Properties) over 10 years ago

Jim - Good point.  I have found being different is so important.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 10 years ago

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