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What Does ‘Back To Basics’ Mean In 2023?


There’s so much noise out there on how to navigate a challenging market. This April, let Inman help you cut through the clutter to make smart business decisions in real time. All month long, we’re taking it Back to Basics and finding out how real estate pros are evolving their systems and investing personally and professionally to drive growth.

Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Livian. He believes that business is nothing but a conduit for personal growth and embraces the company’s vision to Love How You Live. When he’s not leading and growing his organizations, you can find Adam either in the mountains or out in nature with his wife and three children.

We all know that over the past few years, the real estate market has been experiencing a boon. We also know that the times, they are a-changin’.  What worked previously is not necessarily going to work the same way now.

In fact, I believe that you are going to need to channel the version of you from your first couple of years of real estate. The you that was hungry, relentless, highly motivated and would knock on as many doors, make as many calls, and spend as many hours as necessary memorizing sales conversions in order to hit your goals.

Remember those days? I know you know what I’m talking about and it’s time to get after it and get back to the basics of what launched your career in real estate. 

Here are four ways you can get back to the basics: 

Make new friends  

How many face-to-face conversations have you had lately? Or at the very least virtual or voice-to-voice conversations? Email and text will only take you so far with your customers and clients. You are their voice of reason and expertise in this market.

Yes, use technology to enhance the customer experience, but don’t allow it to replace the human connection. People want that human contact and real relationships more than ever.

In my first year of real estate, every Friday I would deliver homemade cupcakes to local businesses, neighborhoods and other community centers. I met the people working and living there. Learned about their lives and yes, talked real estate. It was a highlight of the week for me and for them.

This face-to-face contact is likely how you built your business in the first place. Real estate is a people business, after all. Hold open houses and client events, call your SOI to just check in or share a local recommendation they might be interested in, spend some time volunteering in your community.

The options are endless, but get back to the basics and meet people where they are, look them in the eyes, and work on building authentic and lasting relationships.

Focus on adding to your database and having a system for regular communication

Those new friends you made? Add them to your database. Internet and social media leads? Add them to your database. Your family members, neighbors, dentist, barista, and kid’s teachers? Add them to your database.

Building your database is one of the most basic strategies for building a successful real estate business, but we often overlook it due to its simplicity. It may not be exciting, but it’s damn effective.

Of course, adding to the database isn’t enough. You have to have a system in place (most CRMs will have a tagging, alert and follow-up system built-in). You need to take the time to learn it and then implement it consistently.

And probably the most important part: When the notification comes up, do the action. Make the call or send the email. Having a database with thousands of potential and past clients and customers is worthless if you are not systematically connecting with them. So get back the most basic of tasks for real estate professionals and work that database.

Level up your sales skills

Do you know what’s happening in the market? Have you translated that information into talking points, stories, and information that you clients and customers can easily digest? Are you sharing it regularly? Have you taken this new information and weaved it into templated sales conversations? Do you study these sales conversations and practice them over and over with your fellow agents?

When I was early in my real estate career, I subscribed to a “script of the day” e-newsletter. Every day I would walk around my office and test out the new sales conversation and objection handlers with every agent and employee who would humor me.

Some really flowed and worked and others fell short and didn’t resonate with me or the “client.” I would take the best ones, memorize them, continue to practice them and then start using them on sales calls, open houses, networking events and more.

Sales skills are something you should be working on regularly and constantly adjusting to match the market, customer needs and general societal sentiments. Getting back to the basics with your sales skills will keep you one step ahead.

Prioritize personal development 

I don’t know about you, but personal development was the keystone habit when I started in real estate (in fact, it’s still a keystone habit to this day). From journaling, to meditating, to exercising, to reading my Future Self, to saying my daily affirmations, it was a carefully cultivated practice to start my day and prime myself for the ups and downs, rejections and negotiations, and excitement and questions that I would be faced with each day. 

When was the last time you took 30 minutes to become clear and centered before the day began? It’s easy to lose this habit when the demands of the day (and your clients and team members) are knocking down your door. Get back to the basics and prioritize your personal development. Your family, your clients, your agents, your team members and you will thank you for it. 

This market is going to require you to make some changes and get back to the basics of real estate. After all, the only thing constant in life is change. So why do we often resist change so much?

When we are faced with an unexpected change, why not lean in and flex our adaptability and resilience muscles? When we have thoughtfully considered our options and know that we must make a change for the good of our company, our family, or our life, why not lean in and use our discipline and change management skills?

Some people seek out change and some people resist it. But either way, it’s our ego wanting something to be different or our ego wanting things to stay the same. If change is happening, it’s because it’s supposed to be happening. Lean into it and get back to the basics to keep pushing through. 

Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Livian, the author of The Founder & The Force Multiplier, and the host of the podcast, Business Meets Spirituality. Learn more about Adam’s companies and culture here.





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