One Simple Way to Hold Yourself More Accountable

Welcome to Mike Ferry TV … the week of August 3rd, 2020. This year is flying by … in spite of the fact we’ve spent most of our time in home isolation. Today we’re going to talk about the power behind a 3×5 card. I’ve used 3×5 cards for a major portion of all of my business aspects virtually my whole career … everything from lead follow-up to what we’re going to talk about today, which is planning how you’re going to succeed at a higher level in August … September … October … November … and December.

I want to share something with you. In some of the research that we did … we discovered something that I’ve probably brought up in the past and I want to re-remind you of. It seems that even for the most productive agents … and we’re talking for the people that are doing 25 … 50 … 75 plus … transactions a year … the business always runs in cycles. It runs in waves. Let’s say that the goal of the agent is to do 3 deals per month on average … and that’s 36 deals per year. If they ever look at the end of the year and look backwards, they will notice they probably did not do exactly 3 deals every month. They probably did 3 … 4 … 5 one month … and then they probably did 1 or 2 the next … and then maybe they did 6 because the momentum was in their favor … and then they might have done zero for 2 months, but that’s very normal.

What we discovered … and I want you to think about this … if you’re going to do substantial amounts of business, expect the fact that up to 70% … maybe even 75% of your total transactions … will often happen within a short period of time … because we get heavily involved in our prospecting, in our lead follow-up. We really work hard on any aspect of lead generation, whatever it may be … from passing out a thousand pumpkins in our farm to social media … to really perfecting your ability to contact a For Sale By Owner.

And it’s interesting … if you really do track your production, very few times do we see that consistency that is involved, which is why this little 3×5 card is the topic of today’s conversation. I’ve mentioned in the past, my Broker Pat McVay was a very tough, very dedicated, very strong, sometimes almost a little angry, hostile … you know … with all of us … but he was also very kind and inspirational, motivational and … you know … he was always there to pat us on the back to encourage us to do a better job. Probably 30 days into the business for myself, Pat sits down with me one day and he said, “Here, do you use these in your business?”

I said, “No.”

He said, “Well, I want you to do me a favor.” He said, “I want you to take and write” … and he handed me a card … “print your name at the top.” So, I printed the name Mike Ferry. Then he said, “I’m going to ask you to write down A, B, C, D and E.”

I said, “Okay.”

“And I’m going to ask you five questions, and I want you to write the answers next to each of these letters.”

I said, “Pat, of course. What is it?”

He said, “The first thing I want you to do is understand that we’re going to have you fill out one of these cards every single month.” This was, of course, a very, very prehistoric early stage type of a business plan for the Real Estate professionals like yourself. I was doing this back in the early, early 1970s. So Pat said, “Okay. Letter A … how many days are you going to work per month? Write that number down and this month. Let’s say it’s now the 1st of August, so, you know, how many days are you going to work in the month of August?”

So, I kind of thought through and I said, “Well, I’m going to work 22 days.”

So he said, “Write 22 next to A, and then next to that number of days, how many hours are you going to prospect … commit to prospecting … per day on the days you work?” Well, that was easy for me because I always prospected 3 or 4 hours a day. That was when my routine was. So, I wrote … you know … 21×4 … and I put that total down. He said, “Okay, now how committed are you to that number?”

I said, “No. That’s what I’m going to do.”

He said, “Okay, letter B … how many contacts are you going to make per day, each day that you’re working in Real Estate?”

And I said, “Well, Pat, my goal is to make a minimum of 50 contacts a day,” so I wrote the number 50.

Then he says, “Now, understand that the quality of your contacts determines the quality of your appointments which determines the quality of the listings that you take.”

I said, “Pat, you better tell me that again.” In fact, I had written it down years ago. Pat said to me, “The quality of your contacts” … So, for example, passing out a flyer in your farm to a man or a lady that answers the door or hanging it on the door is a contact, but is it the same quality as if you’re calling a Past Client and looking for a referral? See, that’s what the quality came down to. He said, “The quality of your contacts determines the quality of your leads, which determines the quality of your appointments, which determines the quality of your listings.”

I said, “Okay. I got it. I understand that.”

He said, “Letter C … how many leads do you think you can generate a day, Buyer or Seller?”

I said, “Pat, I generate one or two leads every day because I’m so enthusiastic about the work that I do and the prospecting” and … you know … I was doing most of my work … probably 80% … at the door and 20% on the phone and I kept a mirror in my office on my desk … if I was on the phone, I was looking in the mirror and smiling because I knew that the smile showed on the phone call … and if I was knocking on doors, I was always dressed in a suit and tie, always had a smile on my face … and I was excited about the opportunity to talk to somebody, so … I would generate two leads a day.

He said, “Okay, letter D … how many appointments will you go on for this month on the days you work?”

I said, “Well, my goal is 1 appointment a day, so if I work 21 days … that’s 21 appointments.”

He said, “Okay. Write it down.”

Then he said, “Okay, letter E … and this is something I want you to think about … how many listings will you take this month?”

I said, “Well, Pat I have a pretty high closing percentage. I close a majority of the people I present to, so my goal is a minimum of 15 listings per month … that’s my goal every month.”

He said, “Fine.” Now he said, “Now, we’ll do the hard part. Now that you’ve written your name at the top and you’ve answered the questions, now I want you to sign it and let’s make a contract between you and you.” So I signed my name. Then, he did something fun. He handed me … I don’t know … five or six more blank 3×5 cards and he said, “What I want you to do is … write everything from this card on each of these five.”

“Okay … What do you want me to do with those?”

He said, “I want you to give a copy to the Manager, which was George. I want you to put a copy on your desk, so you see it all the time. Keep a copy in your pocket or in your wallet … in your car … so you see it all the time. Give a copy to your assistant so she can remind you of what you’re supposed to do. Put a copy on the refrigerator at home so the kids and your spouse knows what you’re supposed to be doing, so you have constant visualization reminders.” So I made up the cards and I did that every month that I was in the business because it was a simple way to keep myself on track.

We have all of August … all of September … all of October … November and December … no matter what you’ve done in the first 5 to 7 months of the year, it doesn’t matter … it only matters what you’re going to do now. And, as we have proven … a majority of all the good people like yourself can do a major portion of their business in a short period of time if they commit to the numbers on the card.

So, of course, then I’m going to say to you … how many days are you going to work in August? And how many obvious hours are you going to prospect per day? How many quality contacts are you going to make per day? How many leads are you going to generate? How many appointments are you going to set? And how many listings and/or Buyer-controlled sales are you going to accomplish in the month? Then at the 1st of September, we set a new plan … and then we do it in October, November and December.

So, I went a lot further. I got so involved in this. Some of you know that I used to play a lot of competitive golf … and when I played competitive golf, I took a 3×5 card and I wrote … number 1 … I had a little plan …

  1. Keep your head down.

That was something that I had to remember.

  1. Easy flowing swing.

Because I knew the more aggressive I got, the worst I hit it.

  1. It’s a walk in the park.

I always wanted to remind myself that being on a golf course is a walk in the park.

  1. Have fun.

Then I took that card, which I’ve done still today … put it in my pocket with my golf tee’s and my golf ball and every time I reached for a tee or a golf ball, I touched the card as a reminder of what thoughts I want to have. So I have a mini plan every time I play golf, which makes the game a lot more fun.

It’s not complicated. It’s very simple. It’s something that all of us can do … and if we do it, we’re going to have a great August.

Remember, the majority of your business will always be done in a short period of time. Let’s make August to December that period of time … and it doesn’t matter what happened in January … February … March … April … May … June … or July … every month we get a fresh start … we get a new chapter to the book … we get a new opportunity … and it’s on your mark … Get set … Go!

Talk to you next week. Thanks for today.

Mike Ferry is the global leader in real estate coaching and training. Watch Mike each week as he discusses a variety of topics to help real estate agents and brokers. Grow your real estate business by improving your mindset, developing your skills and creating a plan of action to increase your production!