Achieve Success and Still Have a Life
Achieve Success and Still Have a Life
Framington, Mass., broker Nelson Zide, runs eight offices, oversees 170 salespeople, and closes an average of 75 personal sides per year. He also takes three months off each year for travel, and schedules his family life before business appointments. Balancing one's personal and professional life is the only way to be successful, he says.
"I tell my salespeople how to do it," Zide says, "but some just don't get it."
Zide is an ERA superstar, according to ERA franchise spokespersons. He is broker/owner of ERA Key Realty Services. In addition to his supervisory duties, he hasn't closed less than $10 million to $20 million in personal production in the last 10 years. And he does it without missing his son's ballgames or his daughter's recitals.
Zide's secret to success is putting his personal life first. In fact, most of his advice to salespeople, which will be featured in a new book called How to Have a Successful Real Estate Business and a Real Life at the Same Time, is the basic, balanced-entrepreneurism that has already well been covered by such luminaries as Mary Kay Ash and Zig Ziglar. What makes his advice unique is applying these sound principles to his real estate career.
"Where people go wrong is they don't plan," says Zide." They don't have systems, and they don't stick with it. Real estate professionals think once you leave the business world and go into real estate, that it is different, but it is one of the few businesses where you can have success monetarily and have time for family. But you have to know what you're doing."
Zide doesn't get any more hours in his day than anyone else. He just uses what he gets more productively, he says.
"I'm a simple person, and I have a calendar," he advises. "My wife knows I work my calendar, so if I have to be at my son's soccer game or my daughter's recital, that's in my calendar. One of the things I am proudest of is that I never missed a parent-teacher conference for my kids. If your enjoyment is playing tennis, make sure it goes into the calendar. Whatever you do—that goes into the calendar, and business works around it."
That's upside-down motivational advice by the average workaholic's standard. Put family appointments in your calendar first? But Zide claims it really works.
"Without a personal life, why are you doing this?" suggests Zide. "The reason you work is to have time to play and to have good relationships. My kids are now 20 and 24. I would have missed something if I hadn't gone to my son's games. I can't get that back, if I didn't go. I have a job that enables me to be there and make a good living."
It seems like a fairly simple solution to time management. So why don't more salespeople use a calendar?
"They aren't trained," says Zide. "Do you know of any school that trains people to be a good salesperson? There is no training that teaches people to run a business and have a life. You have to have a successful life to have a successful business."
Zide says it isn’t enough to start with a calendar and plan your personal life first. "Salespeople know how to plan an appointment, but not how they got it," he says. "They have to plan prospecting time."
He recalls that a friend moved to Atlanta, and didn't know anyone. He closed the door to his office and made calls for three hours a day. By the end of his first year, the transplant had closed $5 million in sales. "If every salesperson took that way, they would produce more listings and more time off. I can show them but they need to be able to bring it into their own hearts."
Zide recommends to his new salespeople that they spend at least one to two hours a day prospecting. "What I mean by prospecting is speaking to people who may help you get business," he clarifies. "Phone, e-mail, or going to the town hall, do what you think will be worth your time. Just talk to people. Wear your nametag and career apparel. Do what works for you, because I can't do it for you."
Still, some of his own salespeople don't listen.
"I tell them 'Here is what has worked for me,'" says Zide. "Here is what has worked for others. Take what can work for you.'"
He says he is frustrated when he sees salespeople making mistakes like substituting a last-minute listing appointment for something personal on the calendar. "If you are good, people will wait for you," advises Zide. "Just tell them you have a previous appointment. You don't have to say what the appointment is for. Convey that you are good. The day you break an appointment with family or a prospect is the day you aren't going to do what you are supposed to be doing."
Another mistake he sees salespeople make is putting themselves on hold when a deal is happening. "I've heard salespeople say 'I have to be in the office; an offer is coming.' That's the stupidest thing I ever heard. How are you going to do business? I say, 'Let them e-mail you or leave you a message. You could be getting other deals while you are waiting for that one call to come in."
The activity that wastes the most time is people coming to the office to play, says Zide. "Procrastination is the real estate professional’s worst enemy. You're in the office to work, not to socialize, not to drink coffee, not to have conversations with other salespeople. If you want to socialize, then plan it on your calendar.
Some salespeople know they have to do certain things, but simply can't bring themselves to do what it takes. "You don't do the money-making activities, but you do the $5-an-hour work. Give the mailers to someone else to stuff. Do something that produces $50 an hour, not $10," says Zide.
Which activity produces the most income per hour? Phone calling for listings, says Zide. "I call them warm, fuzzy calls—calls to people you know."
"If you make those calls, you will find someone who will list a home with you," says Zide. "If you set a goal to get one listing appointment every day, and if you get five a week, I figure that you'll get at least one listing, and that is if you're terrible. If you are good, you may get three or four, but you will get at least one a week. If you work 45 weeks a year, that is 45 listings, and if you sell only two-thirds of those, that is 30 houses that closed. I don't know any salespeople who wouldn't be thrilled with that kind of production."
(c) Copyright 2003 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.
Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The REALTOR® Magazine archive is a collection of content previously published on RealtorMag.REALTOR.org. The archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.