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Toni's Take on Real Estate: The Three 'P's You Need

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As a real estate broker for almost for 30 years, I have seen many people come and go, in and out of this industry. In this highly competitive market, I've often asked myself: what makes the difference? Why do some succeed, while others tuck tail and run? Everyone dreams of the big payoff down the road, but few are willing to put in the effort it requires. "Ambition is the path to success, persistence is the vehicle you arrive in." William Eardley IV said that at the turn of the last century, and it still holds true today. I have found that the best assets you can have are patience, persistence, and perseverance. Couple that with a willingness to go above and beyond for your clients and you have a great foundation for success in business. It's not a magic formula, but it's pretty damn close.

"You just can't beat the person who never gives up": The late, great Babe Ruth said that, and personally I think he hit the nail on the head. Over the span of my long career, one of the most important lessons I've learned is the value of perseverance: In the long run it always pays off.

Sales and new business do not always come easily -- most of my business comes from referrals, which is wonderful, but with certain, must-have properties sometimes it takes a lot of follow-up. Especially with the economy in disarray, it takes a lot of dedication to make deals happen. Would-be buyers may be hesitant to buy and sellers may be likely to hold out for a higher a bid. For a lot of us, it can be discouraging when an important deal doesn't close on the first try. What is helpful though is to remember that patience, persistence, and perseverance (the 3 Ps, as it were) are often all it takes to come out on top.

This reminder is important not just for real estate, but for life itself. There is an old marketing adage that says it takes five to seven impressions to make a first impression. This means typically you must follow up about seven times. So if at first you don't succeed be prepared to try again... six more times. Statistically, 50 percent of sales people never follow up on an email or call, 25 percent follow up once or twice, and 10% follow up three to five times. This means that 85% of the sales people out there are not doing what they need to do in order to garner the most business. Simply increasing the number of times you follow up with potential clients could the secret to doubling, perhaps even tripling your sales.

On a personal level, this means I look forward to following up -- many times -- with potential clients. I'm a natural networker and following up is something I not only expect to do, but genuinely enjoy. With a little practice, this kind of persistence can become second nature for any one.

If you want to get ahead this year, the best thing you can do is commit yourself to patience, persistence, and perseverance. These qualities will make you more successful, not just in real estate, but in literally anything and everything you do. When you are motivated and proactive, you are moving actively towards your goals. And if at first you don't succeed? Try, Try... Try Again!