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Building a plan based on the “Why”

Long Long Shadows

Soul searching and plan building.

Two weeks ago, I wrote “Why? Finding real estate career motivation in down times,” as I was on a bit of a soul searching quest. The idea behind the post was not “poor me, I don’t know why I am a real estate agent,” rather it was an attempt for me to find that magic fire inside me that propelled me to improve, work harder, and succeed.

It wasn’t easy to answer the question, as I wanted to remove some of the superficial answers to the question and really get deep down into the core of what makes me tick. Reasons such as “it puts food on the table” (although very true) were not what I wanted. Instead, I was wanting to discover the things that make me wake up in the morning with that feeling of “bring it on world, I am here to win today.”

After some serious time digging deep and writing notes as I thought about things, I discovered much more than I expected. I’m not finished yet, but I am starting to assemble the pieces of “Why” and starting to build a plan based on those answers. Call it the “how” if you will, the next step would give me even more motivation than I thought it would.

How does production relate to motivation?

Let’s face it, in real estate, production is what we’re all seeking. If we don’t produce and generate commissions, we’re dead in the water. Selling and buying houses is our life blood. Without those two, what good would this career be? In order to understand our motivations, we need to look at each one with another question on our minds – “how does production help us achieve the goals laid out in our motivations?

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I won’t go into detail about my motivations, but I boiled them down to five basic needs for myself: education, challenge, control, recognition, and stability. Each one of these needs branches out into many different parts of my life (both personal and professional) and are interwoven amongst themselves (as well as through my history – probably the most revealing part of it all). Just spend a few moments dwelling on how much the first two (education and challenge) could be intertwined in your personal and professional lives.

For each of the five needs I then wrote answers to “how production makes each thing happen” (the actual wording of the note I scribbled to myself). Instead of just telling myself the obvious – that production pays the bills and puts food in my belly, I wanted to see exactly how my ability to earn commissions directly affected each of my needs and the goals that became a part of them.

It seems obvious, but money clouds the picture.

In simple terms, asking yourself how making more money could help you fill your needs and help you achieve your goals might seem obvious, but when I started jotting down notes, I found something different. Let’s pretend we don’t need money for a few seconds. Let’s pretend that money has no daily value in our lives. Remove all the “I want a new pair of shoes” and “I’d love to buy an iPad” thoughts from your head. Forget money as a necessity and focus only on its purpose in making more of your “why” happen on a daily basis.

What I found was that by removing the obvious, I found a lot more answers than I thought I would. Production allows us to build upon our needs. Your production can (and should) be a means to your needs. By focusing on what more production can do to feed those needs and goals, you can now begin to build the plan on how to grow your production to the necessary levels. We all want more production, but having root motivations as the core of why we want more production causes us to fight harder to gain more.

For some, production/money may be a root motivation, but for me the production is the source to feed my motivations (and the obvious source from which comes the ability to keep myself alive to enjoy those motivations). More production, more food to fuel my motivations with.

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photo courtesy of Abulic Monkey

Written By

Matt is a former PA-based rockstar turned real estate agent with RE/MAX Access in San Antonio, TX. He was asked to join AgentGenius to provide a look at the successes and trials of being a newer agent. His consumer-based outlook on the real estate business has helped him see things from both sides. He is married to a wonderful woman from England who makes him use the word "rubbish."



  1. Danny @ Tampa Real Estate

    April 15, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    This was a really great article. Sometimes in real estate you can do all the right things to be productive but still not turn into the results you were hoping for. This is what can be frustrating and can lead to a loss of motivation. But if you have the passion and love for what you do, it tends to make your real estate career a lot easier.

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