The first five months of 2023 are behind us. You’ve got until the end of October to get leads, turn them into clients, and close deals in time for the end of the year. 

If that got your heart pumping a little harder, you’re in the right place. And you’re not alone if you’re wondering how you’re going to get the opportunities you need to reach your income goals for 2023. 

That’s what BAM is here for—showing you how to to do it

In last week’s Knowledge Brokers Podcast, Byron Lazine and Tom Toole responded to a comment on a previous episode by breaking down their top five income-producing activities for real estate agents. 

Every single one of these is 100% doable for agents who are determined to be the best at what they do. If that sounds like you, keep reading. And get ready to take action. 

Top five income-producing activities

A big part of these five activities is knowing what to say to your clients and prospects and how to say it—whether it’s good news or just news that’s relevant to them. Another part is actually communicating with them in person or over the phone

Start by getting familiar with the O.F.Q. formula by Phil Jones

  • Opening — “Hi, it’s [Your Name] at [Your Brokerage].”
  • Fact — “Did you hear about the home in your neighborhood that sold for [$ amount] over the asking price?” or some other fact that could impact their decision to buy or sell
  • Question — “Does that affect your home search at all?” or  “Does that affect your plans to sell?”

As Byron pointed out, using this script and tailoring it to each client or prospect to deliver value at the start of each interaction is, by far, one of the best skill sets you can have as an agent. 

And right now, making those calls and delivering maximum value is more important than ever. 

Now that it’s June—with the first five months of the year in the rear-view—you only have five income-producing activity months left in the year. Because if you do a deal in November or December, you’re not getting paid for it until 2024. You’ve got between now and the end of October. 

So, if you want the next five months to be the best months of your career (so far), prepare to spend them doing these five income-producing activities. 

#1—Have conversations with people—on the phone or in person

This is where it all starts. This is where you fill your database with people who can rely on you for up-to-date and valuable information on the housing market and anything that could impact their decision to buy or sell. 

In Tom’s words, “Sustained action over time is what will deliver results.” And those results start with having conversations with people. 

There’s no way around this. You can’t get to the rest of the funnel without having those conversations and establishing yourself as a knowledge broker serving your community. 

You can’t be allergic to making phone calls—or afraid to start up conversations with people. 

Text messages and emails create reactions; phone calls create conversations…If you’ve got someone on the phone, they hear the sound of your voice, they hear the tonality, you’re asking the right questions…There are a lot of ways to (have conversations) but you have to physically talk to them. They need to hear your body language or see it if it’s in person.

Tom Toole

Obviously, we know it takes 40-50 conversations to equal a closing… It’s all about conversations. The agents that are in your market that are doing the most business…It’s not a newspaper ad. It’s not an Instagram ad that’s breaking them all the way through… they’re just talking to more people than you are.

Byron Lazine

#2—Become a weekend warrior!

Knowing how and what to communicate won’t do you nearly as much good if you’re not working when your clients and potential clients are most likely available. 

Real estate isn’t an industry for those who want to work only Monday through Friday. Your willingness to work through the weekend—making and answering calls and getting out into your community—is how to put yourself in a position to have the most conversations in your market. 

While the average agent is tuning out on the weekends, unreachable to those they called and left messages with earlier in the week, you’ll be the agent your clients and prospects know they can reach with questions or to set up an appointment or a property showing. 

Become a weekend warrior! You have to decide that Saturday and Sunday are [your] Superbowl opportunities every single week. You can elevate your conversations more on Saturday and Sunday than any other day during the week… What we’re seeing across the board…is that inbound calls Friday through Sunday are through the roof compared to Monday through Thursday—when the consumer is actually reaching out…When you’re outside of your house 10-12 hours on Saturday and Sunday, grinding and working this business as a solo agent or a team agent…you’re going to have endless opportunities. They come to you serendipitously on the weekends.

Byron Lazine

As a knowledge broker for your community, your weekends should be full. If you’re doing an open house, don’t be the agent who shows up five minutes late. Get there two hours early and talk to everyone in the neighborhood. Let them know there’s an open house, and—if there’s time–invite them to a private “neighbors-only” showing. 

Take advantage of the opportunities that come to you on the weekends—opportunities that don’t come during weekdays when most of your clients and prospects are working. 

You have to be out there when the consumer is out there…banker’s hours don’t cut it. It’s just how it is in this business. If you don’t like it, there’s plenty of other jobs out there. You want to be successful in real estate, get ready to do that for a couple years.

Tom Toole

Working weekends doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, either. There are plenty of ways you can work a long weekend—being the knowledge broker and relationship builder your community needs—and have fun with it. 

#3—Prioritize making conversations during the proper times

Just as it’s important to be a weekend warrior, you need to be calling people when they’re actually able to pick up the phone and have a conversation with you. 

So, this activity is all about pinpointing the best times to call and committing to those times. Weekends are the days when potential clients are most likely to reach out to you, but you also need to know the best times on other days to reach out to them.  

A Harvard Business Review study revealed the best times to make those phone calls—and that’s typically 8–11 am and 3–6 pm. 

So, if you have a 9 am showing, move that to after 11 am (and before 3 pm) during the best hours to be out in your community rather than in your office—times when you can’t prioritize building your pipeline

Look at your time-blocked schedule as ‘This is my business plan.’ You open someone’s calendar up, it’s gonna show you what they’re committed to. And if there’s a lot of white space in there or a lot of blank space for people, they’re gonna get lost….This is the schedule: In the morning make phone calls; in the afternoon, go on appointments… And if you’re going to have any trainings, do that mid-day.

Tom Toole

The Harvard Business Review study also revealed that Wednesdays and Thursdays—in the 4–6 pm window—is the best time of the week to get people on the phone. And by that, we mean both answering the phone and staying on the phone with you for more than 30 seconds. 

So, make the most of those times. Throughout your work week, commit to making those calls every morning from 8 to 11 am. And if you don’t have any appointments set for the late afternoon, you can make more phone calls or, better yet, have in-person conversations by getting out of your office and into your community. 

Every afternoon—and this is what I did for the first five years of my career—every afternoon, whether I had a listing appointment, a buyer appointment or not, I was out of my house and out of the office in the afternoons. In the afternoons, the office should be emptier than in the mornings. I would be out in the community… I’ve picked up clients at the local watering holes… on the golf course, in the coffee shop, in the places that attorneys are hanging out. I would stop by an insurance agency and chat them up. Just be out. Get a Tesla, if you hate paying for gas, but you should be in your car, bouncing around your community as often as possible.

Byron Lazine

#4—Get leads that you don’t have to pay for upfront.

The fourth income-producing activity is getting leads you don’t have to pay for upfront—either because your team/brokerage pays for them up front or because you pay a referral fee on the backend. 

Make the following a priority, too: 

  • Sign up for every single referral network (which generally involves a referral fee after the fact).
  • Sign up for every single online portal that will let you do a referral fee at the end. 
  • If you’re in a big network brokerage, leverage that to the hilt.  

Create as many paths as possible for referrals to reach you. And leverage the referral sources you have to get the leads you need, so you can put more time and energy into converting them. Build a database of people who rely on you for accurate and up-to-date information on the housing market.

Because people like that are more likely to send referrals your way. And often, the best way to attract more of them is to be flexible with your commission, especially when you need those leads now

Forget about the size of the commission check. Be thinking about ‘How do I get 100/200/500 past clients into my database—1,000 past clients into my database—so that I’m pulling 20% out a year from that database?’ If your database isn’t as big as those numbers I just talked about—triple figures and beyond—you’ve got to get there any way you can.

Byron Lazine

By giving up some of your commission up front, you’ll open up opportunities to build up your database with clients that can have a lifetime value of five, 10, or 20 referrals for you in the future. 

It’s a good trade. But you’ve got to get out there and get “now business.” The easiest way to do that is to get referrals you don’t have to pay for upfront. 

So, here’s another activity where prioritizing the right thing comes in and steers the ship. 

A lot of people look at what percentage they’re getting. And I know that a percentage is always greater than zero. And, on top of that, when you’re getting into the business, or you’re looking to ramp your business up, you give up time or you give up money. And if you’re not able to self-generate on your own, getting some at-bats and talking to people with real intent is going to make you a better agent down the line… Any team that knows what they’re doing, they’re going show you how to generate business long-term.

Tom Toole

#5—Set, run, and execute on appointments 

The four income-producing activities described above all lead to this one: setting, running, and executing on appointments

You can talk to as many people as you want, but if you’re not setting appointments with them, it’s not going to help you. 

Then, once you’ve set those appointments, you need to actually show up for them. I know that sounds obvious, but how many times have you seen someone set a bad appointment? Maybe the potential client never shows or maybe they’re not even qualified to buy. Maybe you or the buyer won’t know the right questions to ask. 

That leads to the third component, which is executing on the appointment. 

Getting in front of someone is one thing. Showing up the right way is another. But executing on that appointment—i.e., getting the contract signed—is what turns that lead into a client. 

The best agents and the knowledge brokers, they set the expectation at the first appointment when the next appointment is going to be… Then they update it in their CRM so they don’t forget. They put it in their calendar… And if you’re setting, running, and executing at appointments, all the stuff we talked about is gonna get you to number five—[which] ties it all together. The first four, they’re all gonna get you there. That’s the game in real estate.

Tom Toole

That brought to mind a BAM interview with Al Filippone, who started in real estate 35 years ago. 

Al Filiponne in Connecticut, his team does over $350M consistently. He’s got this great quote. He says, when he asks the agent, ‘Hey, how’d the appointment go?’ And they say, ‘Good,’ it’s like, ‘Signed or not signed? There’s no good feeling about an appointment. An appointment didn’t go good unless it’s signed.’ So, to your point, you’ve gotta execute that damn thing.

Byron Lazine

What’s not on the list

All five of the income-producing activities described here are essential to squeezing the juice out of every hour you work as a real estate agent. There are no “Bare Minimum Mondays” in the real estate industry—or for any entrepreneur that wants to be the best at what they do.  

What’s missing from that list is also worth mentioning. Because many agents spend more time on these activities than they do on the ones that actually generate income. 

One of those activities is what Byron calls “direct mail disease.” 

I see so many agents going, ‘I’m gonna send out direct mail,’ because they think their phone’s just gonna ring magically and somebody’s gonna say, ‘That was the prettiest piece of mail I’ve ever seen in my life! Will you come list my $2M home? You don’t even need to pitch me, just bring the paperwork.’ That doesn’t happen.

Byron Lazine

A mutual friend of Byron and Tom, Josh Rubin, closes over $200 million a year in Manhattan. He spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on direct mail every year—not because of the great returns (he’d be lucky to get a 0.5% conversion rate) but because he’s working at a $5 million-plus price point, where a sub-1% conversion rate can still reap enough benefits to offset the cost. 

If you’re working in a median price point range, direct mail would almost certainly cost you far more than you would reap from it. 

Byron and Tom put out more online real estate content than 99% of the industry. And between the two of them and Lisa Chinatti, they’ve got over a thousand deals this year to date. Not once have they said, “Spend all your time on Instagram [or TikTok].” They talked about what actually drives the results you need to make the most of every income-producing month. 

We’ve got the data and the experience of what works. And I really do hope, (if) you’re an agent, at any point in your business, you’ve got these five steps here—this playbook of income-producing activities.

Byron Lazine

To repeat Byron’s #2 point, this is a weekend business. So, when those weekends come, get out into your community. Be in the car all day, listen to this podcast between appointments or between stopping at somebody’s business and having conversations with them.  

You’ve gotta be seen in your community. Being seen is being out there.

Byron Lazine

As for how to prepare for these conversations and appointments you’ll be having, you need to be educating yourself on a daily basis, using the most reliable sources available to you—like the daily Hot Sheet and the weekly Knowledge Brokers Podcast

Make sure you have plenty of ways to add value to every conversation with a potential client.