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By Darryl Davis

RISMEDIA, May 23, 2008-One of the greatest joys of our business of real estate is how it grows and changes with the times. Many times the changes are quite obvious and make an immediate impact, which everyone can see, and usually enjoy. The lock box is an example that comes to mind. When talk of a lockbox system started, there were lots of concerns. “How could anyone show “my” listing as good as me?” or “Everything will get robbed” were some of them. In retrospect the lockbox is a great tool for today’s busy real estate agent.

davis_darryl.JPGNow some of the changes that go on are not quite so obvious but may be even more enticing to the agent who wishes to reach what we call, in The POWER Coaching Program, your “Next Level.” Such an agent would be looking beyond today and what they are now to the future, near and far, and what they will be when they too have harnessed the power to reach their Next Level.

In the past decade as an educator I have been in many situations in helping agents and managers learn how to be more effective. I have been fortunate to enjoy every forum for a speaker from office meetings in my own office to national conventions. During this time I have made a practice of studying top producing agents. It started out almost as a hobby, if you will, but has become true interest of mine. Why? Because top producing agents don’t necessarily work harder than average agents. They don’t generally put many more hours in. They don’t generally act “exhausted” all the time and yet they still find a way to out produce nine out of 10 agents in America.

Now, by “average” I am talking about an “average active agent.” That’s someone who is actually working full time in real estate and spending 40 hours per week minimum, though many will be working 50 hours a week, actively pursuing real estate as a full-time profession. You’ll find that top producing agents have found ways, which work for them, in their market, to be more effective and therefore get more done so they can help more people sell and buy homes and they will earn a higher income.

How do they do what they do? Great question and there isn’t one “answer” but there are certain threads that top producers share, although there are always exceptions. For every idea in I have written you can find someone you know who is doing very well, thank you, without the benefit of my tutelage or ideas. But what about you? Do you think you could use something here to make a difference? If you do, then you have one of the qualities that make a top producer stand out above the rest. They get ideas everywhere and apply them to their business. Have you ever seen an invention and thought, “Hey, I thought of that years ago,” or do you know someone who has? It’s because we all have ideas that can make a difference but applying them is what makes them come alive. There is a great quote from a good friend of mine, Vinnie Romano. He says “Good ideas are a dime a dozen. Good action is priceless.” I couldn’t agree with him more. You see and hear great ideas that will increase your income but do you use them? Usually the answer is no. It’s mostly the top producers who will answer yes. Top agents take ideas and run with them while everyone else is saying, “that’s a great idea” and then do nothing. Next time you should use a great idea to bring you to your Next Level.

Okay, are you sitting down for this one? Top producers prospect. Okay, your thinking about one of those few agents you know who never seem to do anything but their “business just falls out of the sky.” Wrong. That person has been prospecting to build a business base for years. They have probably developed a client base that provides a generous flow of buyers and sellers. In my observations it takes between 3 and 5 years to develop a client base that should provide you with around 75% of all your business. The reason it’s normally not higher is because people stay in the home forever, move away from the area, sell within the family or a friend or family member becomes an agent so some of the business goes elsewhere. Even top producers have to make sure they get the additional deals to hit their production goals and they do that by prospecting.

Top producers know how to produce but how can you apply this information. The way I see it, there are two kinds of people when it comes to being a successful independent contractor. There’s the goal-oriented person and the activity-driven person. The goal-oriented person just needs a goal. Period. Once you get them on the scent of something they want they are like a bloodhound at a jailbreak. They seem to have energy to spare and it all comes from the goal. They don’t need an alarm clock, a manager or anything. They are driven, pulled, drawn toward their goal and there is no force on earth that can stop them. These people become top producers and they give you some interesting advice. They say, “All you need to do is set a goal.”

That’s great for people like them but not many of us are like them. Most of us are activity driven. That means in order to get things done we must list, write, organize, assemble what we need to succeed and create to-do lists, action plans, business plans, etc. For these people the key is to always have some activity with a deadline for completion and accountability to complete the tasks. Here is another hint; if you want to be as effective as a top producer stop giving yourself so long to get things done. Shorten your time for performance. Give yourself some pressure and a deadline. Take the average time for whatever you want to complete and use that as your baseline then try to do it in less time every time.

You know the famous question asked to a New York City cab driver, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” “Practice” was the wise answer. “How do you become a top producer?” Do what the top producers do is the smart answer.

During my decade of educating agents it’s been my pleasure to help many of them become top producers and many others reach their Next Level. Let me leave you with this thought. You’re going to be in real estate and work hard, and get angry, and feel joy and pain. Why don’t you focus on being more productive and joining the ranks of top producers for the next few months. It’s a great time to start and I think the title “top producer” will look good on you.

For over 15 years, Darryl Davis has traveled around the country coaching agents and brokers on how to achieve their Next Level of success. He is the creator of the nationally acclaimed POWER Program, the only yearlong coaching and training course where Power Agents, on average, double their production over their previous year. Darryl is a best-selling author, one of the highest rated speakers at the NAR Convention each year, and has a career-curriculum that brings agents from “Rookies to Retirement”.

To find out about his training programs and/or speaking availability, please visit or call 1-800-395-3905.