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Keep Your Priorities Straight for a Strong Fourth Quarter

Sometimes when I hear a great motivational quote, I stop and marvel at its message. It happens all the time since I draw inspiration from so many different people and places: real estate agents, industry leaders, as well as people in fields totally unrelated to real estate. I heard a particularly timely quote this week out of the last category, and it came from Pat Riley, president of the Miami Heat, whose team is about to enter the NBA Finals. He has a mantra that he has shared throughout his career as both a coach and an executive, and I thought it would be especially applicable to everyone in real estate, too. He said…

“Keep the main thing as the main thing.”

So smart, right? He was talking about winning a championship, but it applies to having a successful real estate business, too.

The main thing, I hope we all know, is sales.

Making sales happen—sellers selling homes and buyers buying homes—is why we are here. Everything we do, from marketing to prospecting to compliance to listing appointments to open houses, is all in order to sell real estate, both for our clients’ benefit and for our own livelihoods.

The challenge, therefore, is to make sure that all of the distractions and intermediate tasks necessary in our business don’t take our focus away from the main thing: Selling homes.

So ask yourself: What are you and your team doing every day and every week to stay focused on sales?

Is everyone consistently doing dollar-producing activities? Every sales agent should have daily and weekly goals for sales efforts, including listing appointments, calls to potential clients, and calls to past clients and their sphere. These activities should be tracked and shared for maximum results.

Do you have daily and weekly team meetings? If not, start and keep them quick and centered on driving sales. Joint accountability will help your group focus.

Are your team members practicing time blocking? This serves a two-fold purpose; it ensures that significant time is set aside for sales-producing activities, and it also budgets specific but manageable amounts of time for administrative tasks. Too often, distractions take away from sales activities, so use time blocking to guard against that.

There will always be other things that come up. You will have customer service issues. You will need continuing education. Demands from your personal life will arise. Everybody has these things happen.

But keep the main thing the main thing. You must stay focused on sales for real estate success.

The fourth quarter is here, and that’s when games are won and lost. Pat Riley is in the basketball Hall of Fame because he stayed focused and didn’t let injuries, personal issues or distractions guide his success. He stayed focused and helped others do the same.

You can do that in real estate—for your clients, for your team and for yourself. Make sales and sales-producing activities your focus to have a great fourth quarter and win your real estate game.

To get a copy of my sales activity tracking sheet, “Short-Term KPIs for Sales Success,” click here.

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. She is also an RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker as an industry Influencer. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit for more information.