A Champion accepts nothing less than excellence. When you look at successful individuals and successful companies, good is not good enough. They are clearly striving for excellence. In Jim Collins’ best selling book, Good to Great, one of his premises is that good is really the enemy of great; that if we are willing to settle for good, we will never achieve greatness. I agree that to hit the Champion level as an Agent, you can’t be satisfied with mid-level skills, abilities, and mindset. You must resolve to raise your level of expectation and performance, first for yourself and then for your staff, to the predetermined Champion level.

While a company must be exceptional in all facets of a business (sales, marketing, accounting, client care); it would be impossible for an individual to be exceptional in all those facets of business. Knowing the real estate business and knowing the areas that are most important to be personally skilled at can raise your performance. Then delegating the areas that you will never achieve excellence in to others who have the capacity to excel in those areas is paramount.

It is easy to confuse perfection with the pursuit of excellence. To many, they look the same. In further analysis, one can see the distinction between obsessions to the most minor details, which is perfection, and wanting to hit the upper echelon of the zone of success, which is excellence. One is trying to achieve a 100% standard (perfectionism), while the other says that 95% is clearly in the excellent range. We must ask ourselves if 90% is still an A in our business. Can I live with 90% to 95%, or must I get to 100%? If your response is 100%, you have a perfectionist problem that is holding you back from becoming a Champion.

The truth is that to achieve that last 5% from 95% to 100% takes a considerable amount of resources. You can produce a lot more sales and income by looking for other opportunities, rather than perfecting that 95% to a 100%. A Champion knows the fine line between excellence and perfection. They work to stay on the right side of that line.

I frequently see Agents working to perfect their systems. They spend hours and weeks designing flyer templates, follow-up procedures, letters, marketing pieces, closing check lists, buyer check lists, seller check lists, seller activity reports; the list is endless. Before you assume I am anti-systems, let me say that you must have these systems to provide quality customer service, good follow-up, and the ability to make sales. If the systems are at 90% to 95%, you don’t need to invest hours of time to make them perfect. You need to invest your time generating more leads to run through your systems. A system for service is valuable, but revenue growth comes from running more people through your service system, not from working on it.

Becoming a Champion Agent is easier than most people believe. Most people believe you have to provide this WOW service model; that you must go above and beyond for every client. I take a more fundamental approach.

You can become a Champion easily through exceptional execution of the fundamentals. Most people fall short in the fundamentals of their core business. The reason is that the fundamentals are harder to master. They aren’t really exciting, sexy, or full of public accolades when you do them. They just work and produce significant results.

As a professional racquetball player in my 20’s, I was not the flashiest player with the most diverse shot arsenal. I had a couple of shots from a handful of positions on the court. When I got myself positioned and set in those areas, it was point over. If I got into those zones more often than my opponent, it was game over.

In racquetball the objective is to control the center of the court a few feet behind the service line. If you are in that zone for more of the time than your opponent, you have a 90% probability of winning the match. My objective was to control that center court area. When my opponent had it, I wanted to hit a shot that moved him out of it and me into it. That is fundamental racquetball. That approach, while not as flashy as some of the spectacular shots my opponents would sometimes execute, allowed me to win a number of prestigious titles during my career. There is nothing that beats winning.

As a Champion Real Estate Agent, the fundamentals are prospecting, lead follow-up, presentation, objection handling, and closing skills in the sales process. In client care, it’s the communication frequency and systems. In marketing, it’s copy writing, strategy, tactics, and implementation. Throw in two more fundamentals: time management and money management (both in business and personal life), and you will be a Champion. Now, when you evaluate that list, it’s not very exciting to look at . . . especially the sales processes. What I find is that most Agents are better at the marketing and client care than the sales processes, time management, and money management. I would rank those three (sales processes, time management, and money management) as the top three in a Champion Agent’s business. To become a Champion Agent, you have to be a Champion at those three. If you don’t have impeccable skills in those three core areas, you won’t be a Champion!

Author's Bio: 

Dirk Zeller is a sought out speaker, celebrated author and CEO of Real Estate Champions. His company trains more than 350,000 Agents worldwide each year through live events, online training, self-study programs, and newsletters. The Real Estate community has embraced and praised his six best-selling books; Your First Year in Real Estate, Success as a Real Estate Agent for Dummies®, The Champion Real Estate Agent, The Champion Real Estate Team, Telephone Sales for Dummies®, Successful Time Management for Dummies®, and over 300 articles in print. To learn more, please visit: http://www.realestatechampions.com/SuccessasaRealEstateAgent/.