Prioritizing your values and expectations

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Before you can determine whether a company is a good match for you, you have to be clear about your own values and expectations so you can see if they're shared and supported by the company you choose to work with.

Know your values

Ask yourself: What are your core values? What beliefs and principles guide your life? What would you hold dear even if it proved to be a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace? Even if the marketplace or business climate changed, what aspects of how you work are nonnegotiable?

Here's an example. In my company, Real Estate Champions, one of our core values is "exceptional execution of the fundamentals." I believe in and have seen the truly astounding results that occur when people apply the fundamentals of sales and business consistently, without reliance on shortcuts or miracle marketing systems. In truth, our company commitment to the fundamentals means that we attract fewer people. Obviously, it's easier to sell agents on magic formulas that require no work, energy, discipline, or rigorous activity. But, in spite of the competitive disadvantage it presents, our company belief in disciplined fundamentals doesn't ever change. It's a core value and it's a truth we adhere to.

When choosing an agency, know what you stand for, what you honor, and what you believe in. Once you study yourself, you can then study the values of the company you're considering to ensure that your belief systems align.

Establish your expectations

What do you expect from yourself over the next 6 to 12 months? What do you expect from your company over the same time period? What will your new company expect from you? What do they consider to be the minimum standard for new agent production? What do they consider to be average, or good, production? What is the most that anyone has ever produced in the company?

Before you choose a company, align your expectations with the company's by taking these steps:

^ Set your goals and expectations for the upcoming year. Establish your targets for gross income, number of transactions, number of listings taken and sold, and number of buyer sales.

^ Know the expectations and typical production levels that exist within the company you're considering. If your targets are high, you need to join a company where established inventories and support systems help you jumpstart your business for quick success. If your aims are lower, you need to be sure that they match company expectations for new agents.

Once you establish your goals, keep them in front of you at all times. Carry them with you. Put them on your screen saver. Write them on index cards and stick them on your sun visor, bathroom mirror, TV set, or anywhere else they'll catch your eye repeatedly throughout the day.

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