Adam and Eve

Image courtesy of Flickr user Eusebius@Commons

So you’ve earned that real estate license and are in business for yourself. You told your friends and family that you were going to get your license and, amazingly enough, they waited for you and have decided to use you rather than one of the other dozen agents they know. In no time flat, you’ve got a deal in escrow, and all seems well in the universe.

And here’s the point where it’s easiest to lose track of the second part of a real estate professional’s two-pronged job description.

Recently, Rob Hahn (aka the Notorious R.O.B.) asked what a real estate agent’s job should be and even included the definition as provided by Wikipedia, the world’s most reliable almost-reliable source. To paraphrase, a real estate agent’s job was defined as providing the best possible service to his or her clients, whether buyers or sellers.

Pushed aside to some degree was the idea of lead generation, which, truthfully, is the more important part of a real estate agent’s job if they consider themselves to be business owners and are seeking some sustainability.

Whether you knock on doors a la Tom Hopkins or spend your days writing cards and popping by as Brian Buffini tells us, without lead generation your business is not sustainable. Low-hanging fruit only lasts so long; as Adam and Eve discovered, once that fruit has been tasted you soon find yourself in the wilderness trying to survive.

Inevitably, though, lead generation takes a back seat whenever we, as agents, get busy. All it takes is one or two escrows, and the day soon is spent scheduling and attending inspections, visiting title, calling lenders and otherwise managing the transactions using the time that otherwise would be allocated toward following up with potential clients. It’s this tendency toward forgetting the lifeblood of the business, lead generation, that causes agents’ monthly production to whipsaw from feast to famine.

By defining your job as lead generation, or at least recognizing lead generation as the more important portion of a two-part job description, it’s much easier not to lose focus on what will keep you in business beyond the current deal.

Success is not an accident. It takes work. Take low-hanging fruit when you can, but realize someone else put in a lot of work from planting the seed to watering and cultivating the tree from which that fruit came.

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