Chris Watkin: Tom, what's the most common reason why estate agents don't do prospecting? Talk to me.
Tom Panos: The most common reason is that they suffer from the concept of the gap. That is that there is a gap between doing something and being rewarded for it. So most estate agents ... There's this great experiment. It's called the marshmallow experiment, and this experiment has been tried all over the world many, many times. What they do is they get a room like this, they get these three year old kids and they say, “Here's one marshmallow. If you can hold that marshmallow and not put it in your mouth for five minutes, when that clock goes to one, we're coming in and giving you a second marshmallow.”
Tom Panos: What does the research show? Experimenters walk out, and then they've got a video camera that is going in. They're looking at the kids and what happens is there is one kid that gets a marshmallow, this marshmallow, puts it down and just looking at the clock. There's another kid that's next to him. What he does is pick up the marshmallow, smells it, hmm, sugar, stuffs it in his mouth. There's another kid that looks at this kid, he ate it, I'm going to eat it.
Tom Panos: What actually happens is at the end, there's only really a very small minority of people that are able to have delayed gratification, the ability to pay a short term price to be rewarded down the track. Now, I think one of the main reasons why real estate agents suffer with prospecting is that they don't realize that prospecting pays tomorrow, not today.
Chris Watkin: How do agents learn how to? Is that a talent that can be learned, this delayed gratification?
Tom Panos: Oh, so it's not so much a talent because a talent says to me, Chris, that there is an art form-
Chris Watkin: But is it a skill, an attitude?
Tom Panos: It's actually a muscle that can be developed. Just like a bicep curl can grow the bicep muscle, what we clearly know is if a person starts doing the thing they don't like doing, it gets easier. Everything is hard before it's easy. What we clearly know is that if you've got the ability to do what I call, begin, and trust me, 80% of winning is just beginning.
Chris Watkin: What, just making the first step?
Tom Panos: Making the first step. So what would I say to someone that's watching this video right now? Let's assume they want to make prospecting part of their life, let's assume they want to say, “I want to do two hours of prospecting a day.” What I say-
Chris Watkin: Funny.
Tom Panos: What's that?
Chris Watkin: Two hours a day? We're giving it two hours a month.
Tom Panos: Well, I think if you're doing ... If people are watching this video and they're not doing two hours prospecting a day, have a look at how much money they're making because life's rarely fair because you're being paid. So I have to say people that work with me, we're expected to do two hours of prospecting before lunchtime. You block off your diary, uninterrupted two hours of power, it's as simple as that.
Tom Panos: But let's assume we're talking to the person that's lucky to do two hours per month. Let's assume we're talking to that person.
Chris Watkin: We're talking top 5% here.
Tom Panos: Top 5%, which I think if you're watching this video, you should be pumped because it means your competition is pretty shit, so you should be over the moon, right? Sorry for swearing because-
Chris Watkin: That's okay, we're all friends here.
Tom Panos: Okay, so Chris, what I would say is if you're doing two hours per month and I'm suggesting that you should be doing two hours per day, which works out to being 40 hours per month, I suggest that your goal shouldn't be to go from two hours a month to 40 hours a month, your goal should be to go from two hours to three hours. Then what you should do is to go from three hours to five hours. What I'm saying is that my micro-increases are most likely going to be sustainable.
Chris Watkin: What does smart prospecting look like?
Tom Panos: Smart prospecting-
Chris Watkin: Because we can put the hours in, can't we?
Tom Panos: Yeah, smart prospecting looks like contacting someone using gentle interaction and leaving that person more intelligent when they hang up than before they picked up. So smart prospecting is educating a client and making them more intelligent about the community or the marketplace. Cold prospecting is basically making a phone call that sounds like the Manila call center. That is basically just playing a numbers game. “Do you want to sell? No? Goodbye.” That's the difference.
Chris Watkin: So when you say educate, what are we talking about, making their life better, talking about the stuff they're interested in like the property market, or what's coming on the market, or what neighborhood stuff is selling, those sort of things?
Tom Panos: Okay, so-
Chris Watkin: Or the value of their houses, or all of the above?
Tom Panos: All of the above, but always begin with this question, what keeps my clients up at night? What keeps my client up at night?
Chris Watkin: Fears?
Tom Panos: Fears. What's stressing them? What problem have they got? Then what you do is you take that problem, you create information and content, which sometimes you create it, sometimes you curate it, and what you do is you provide that to your client, because what you want to do is to become their estate agent before they need an estate agent. So when they need an estate agent, they have already got a brain tattoo of you in their head. That's what you need to do.
Tom Panos: So Chris, what does that look like specifically? Well, at the moment, we are in Park Lane, Mayfair, and let me tell you the thing that keeps a client up in this area could be different to what keeps a client up in Doncaster. So what you've got to do is you can't be that lazy bludger that says, “I'll just take what he's doing and give it to my marketplace.”
Tom Panos: What should you be looking at? If there's a new freeway being built, provide content and information and say what will this freeway do to the value of your home? If there's a new development going up in the area, what does this development mean to you? If there's some information of a property that has just been sold for a record price, let the marketplace know. So it's anything to do with the economic conditions of the community in your marketplace. That's what you've got to be doing.