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Verl Workman viewed the red-hot COVID-19 housing years as an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord where mediocre real estate agents had a seat at the table alongside great agents.
Now, with existing-home sales down 23 percent from a year earlier, things have changed.
“The days of if you could fog a mirror, you can sell a house are over,” said Workman, CEO of Workman Success Systems. “It’s not a famine at all. It’s just that there’s not room for everybody at the table.”
Realtors are hanging their hats after an easy period, Workman said. Membership levels in the National Association of Realtors dropped for the first time in years in April.
Workman trains real estate coaches and other professionals how to rise above mediocrity to thrive in any market. Agents can do several things to succeed.
“Greatness is predictable,” Workman said. “So is average.”
Workman is set to speak at Inman Connect Las Vegas in August. He spoke with Intel ahead of the event to share some of his insights.
The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and brevity.
Intel: NAR’s membership is now shrinking for the first time in years. What types of agents do you think are calling it quits right now and why?
Workman: Anyone who’s been in the business for less than 10 years has no idea what to do. They’ve come into the business and it’s been so easy to sell houses that they’ve never had to prospect. We make the business look easy and that’s why there’s so much downward pressure on commissions.
This is where the great agents stand out, because they go back to, ‘How do I hunt? How do I find new clients? How do I win listings? How do I create opportunities?’ You don’t know how to do that, you’re not gonna renew your license.
What types of teams or agents are doing well?
People that are on teams are much more likely to stay in the business than those who are not — about 80 percent more likely. Because they’re in a culture of productivity.
Every office has a culture that’s either intentionally or unintentionally created. And we teach building a culture of productive agents. We don’t even want you on one of our teams unless you’re doing two deals a month. If you’re selling 24 houses a year, you’re making it, you’re not gonna go get a job.
The average agent’s doing what? Five or six? They suck air, and when they run out of friends and family, they don’t know what to do.
Was it just too easy to be a Realtor and make some money for the past two years?
It takes 2,000 hours to get licensed to cut my hair, and in a hundred hours you can be somebody’s Realtor.
Nobody in education is teaching people how to be successful or make money in real estate. They teach them how to not get sued. Like, ‘How do you be inclusive? How do you make sure that you take care of the people who are less served? How do you make sure you don’t get sued when you talk about disclosures?’ They teach us how to not be served or not be sued, but no one’s teaching anybody how to make money.
So, as a coach, what are you teaching in this market? You said you teach ‘tactical,’ what does that mean?
Tactical means what do you do today when you get up? You get up, you do 30 minutes of positive, whatever gets you excited, read the Bible, read a motivational book, go for a walk, enjoy a sunrise. And then you spend an hour or 30 minutes practicing scripts and dialogues. And then you do a role play and you get on the phone, you prospect, then you do your lead follow up. We get tactical. It’s like, it’s like we break down what we do in 30-minute increments and we make sure that we get the highest return on time.
You’re gonna be away from your family or friends or people you love, how about we just decide to make it worth it?
You said in November you wouldn’t necessarily call things a famine. Here we are six months later. What would you call the market today?
It’s gone from being an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord to fine dining. It’s not a famine at all. It’s just that there’s not room for everybody at the table. There’s only room for people at the table that can afford to be there that are willing to put in work. It’s not money that gets you a seat at the table, it’s effort.
The days of if you could fog a mirror, you can sell a house are over. Now it’s, ‘Hey, you gotta find someone who actually wants to sell.’ And you have to message to them differently than everybody else’s messaging. So they go, ‘Oh, I didn’t know I could do that.’ Well, what does that look like? Popping by someone’s house with a jar of jam is not how to make money in today’s market.
What makes somebody great?
Greatness is predictable. So is average. What makes people great is when they stop thinking of themselves as Realtors and they start thinking of themselves as servants. No. 2 is learn what to delegate and what to do. No. 3 is serve regardless of opportunity.
Agents — we have to be the purveyors of good news. What are the good things happening in the market? What are the things that you can do to move forward?
The life events that cause people to move don’t stop happening because interest rates went up.
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