Stan Albert: Time for some Spring Cleaning

Are you angry at your routine? If you’re really interested in increasing your business, it’s time for a spring house cleaning.

Recently I read a fascinating magazine, The Canadian Entrepreneur and was really impressed by the content. Especially of note was the editorial by Rick Spence.

Most of us deem ourselves as free spirited, cutting-edge businesspeople or maybe even entrepreneurs. If that’s true, why is it that there are so few of us that really operate that way?

I wonder how many registrants have all the tools of the trade, which the modern-day sales professional truly needs.

’m puzzled when I hear a sales rep say, “I’ve got some great strategies for this year and am going to go out and achieve the greatest year I’ve ever had!” Yet, when I ask how they are going to accomplish this feat, they have no idea whatsoever about how to do it in a professionally planned method – let alone WHY they want to achieve this lofty goal.

When asked how they are going to increase their business by 25 per cent, the answer is usually: “I’ll have to get more listings and/or buyers.”

So they wish to increase volume, but what will they have to change first?

In a sailor’s vernacular, “We’re in ‘irons.’” That means no wind, for you landlubbers. That’s correct; you’re on a sale-boat. (Ha!). Nothing creative has occurred in your mindset since you received your first award for becoming a top achiever.

Imagine being with other professionals in other non-related fields, once a month. Discussions with other business people gives bent to new ideas and new sources for business. Oh my gosh, here Albert goes again with the “R” word – referrals. Yes, referrals.

I mention this idea about 20 to 30 times a year in coaching my agents, yet less than 10 per cent ever get to do it. Those who do receive not only referrals, but also form new friendships and they learn how other businesses operate successfully and consistently by planning and innovating.

How much of your day do you spend dreaming about how to create additional business for yourself on an ongoing basis?

An article by Rick Spence in The Canadian Entrepreneur magazine says that Google’s engineering staff is encouraged to spend 20 per cent of their time working on projects that they feel passionate about. That philosophy is credited with the development of Google News, Google Suggest (try it!), and Ad Sense for Content (On line ads triggered by the content on the page).

Spence goes on to share other tips, such as track your time, keep a to-do list, and keep a don’t-do list. The best thing from Spence’s column: Do the worst thing first, whether it’s calling potential clients, or dealing with an obstreperous individual agent or the public.

Visit Spence’s blog at

It’s all been said before, I know, but start by operating out of your comfort zone. As Spence says: “That’s where the real work and the real success is waiting.”

Quote of the month: “Entrepreneurs are supposed to be the new Knights of Columbus, so why are so many such “sticks in the mud?” – Rick Spence

Ask a mentor: Do you have a question about the real estate business that you’d like to ask Stan Albert? Write to Stan with any coaching/real estate business questions you have, and he’ll answer the best ones in his column in REM.

Stan Albert is celebrating his 36th year in active real estate, and is with Re/Max Excellence in Woodbridge, Ont. He serves on committees at RECO and at the Toronto Real Estate Board. He is an established trainer and business consultant and can be reached at