James Clear: Atomic Habits for Real Estate Agents

James Clear: Atomic Habits for Real Estate Agents


Guys and girls. I’ve got with me James Clear and I know that I’m sort
of putting it out there but I actually think that he’s gonna be one of the best people that we’ve ever had come to AREC in the 20 years
that we’ve had the event, because I simply believe that
process trumps motivation any day of the week, and I know that most real estate agents have got this constant struggle with making prospecting a habit. So James, firstly, we’re over the moon that you’re taking that long
trip from the USA to Australia, so thank you so much. Thank you, I’m excited to be there. Now, James, the book that
you wrote, Atomic Habits. Can I ask you, when was
that book published? It released October 16th 2018, so it’s been out for, yeah, a little over six months
by the time we have the, by the time we have AREC. Okay. Now, I wanna just ask you two questions. Question number one, what are
the steps to forming a habit? Well, so, in the book I break down a habit into four different stages. Roughly speaking, those are cue, craving, response and reward, and I’ll cover them in more
detail during my presentation, but the basic idea is
you have some kind of cue that captures your attention. Based on how you interpret that cue, you may get a craving, or be motivated, or find it attractive to take action. Then there’s the response which
is the actual habit itself, and then finally there’s
some kind of reward or benefit from doing the habit, and if you understand those four stages, then you sort of have a good framework for understanding where to intervene to build a good habit
or to break a bad one. And so those four steps, cue, craving, response, reward, give you kind of a high level framework for understanding a habit, and then the majority of my work is, well, what do we actually do with that? How can we use those stages to build better habits
in our life and work? You know, James, there’s a lot of people and a lot of information that talks about the timeframe it takes
to actually get something that gets hardwired as a new habit. Do you have a view on that? Like, such people were brought up saying oh, it’s 21 days or what have you. Yeah, this is a very
common question that I get, and you’ll see all kinds of answers. Like you said, 21 days, 30 days; 66 days is a popular answer right now because there was one study that showed that on average
it took about 66 days to build a habit, but even within that study
the range was quite wide. If it was something simple, like drinking a glass of water at lunch, it might be a few weeks. If it was something more complicated, like going for a run after work each day, it might be seven or eight months. So I don’t know that the average
really tells you very much. But I think, I think that question, how long does it take to build a habit, there’s sort of like a deeper underlying assumption behind it. It’s kind of like, well
how long until it’s easy? Or how long until I don’t have to work on it that hard anymore? And I think the honest answer to how long does it take to
build a habit is forever, because if you stop doing
it, it’s no longer a habit. And, you know, that idea, that philosophy, that approach, I think it gives you a little bit better of a way to attack your habits, where you understand, okay, how can I choose something
that’s non-threatening, something that is small
and sustainable enough, that it can become part of
my new lifestyle, you know? If I’m gonna be doing this forever, it should be something that I
can stick to 98% of the time no matter what, without fail. And this is one reason
why I think small habits are a great way to start, and once you’ve integrated
them into your lifestyle, then you can start to look for
ways to expand and improve. Okay. So, that leads me to that second question I was gonna ask you. So if you’re, if you’re
a real estate agent, and one habit that you
wanna create is your ability to prospect on a daily
basis to get new listings, fundamentally it’s all about bringing new business coming in. If I turned around and said to you, what advice would you give to the real estate agent watching this and coming to AREC to hear you speak, to build a prospect of spending, say, two hours before lunch time each day prospecting for new business. Are you suggesting that don’t
start off with two hours, start with lower? Well, so, let’s take a
couple of those stages that I just mentioned a moment ago. So you have cue, craving,
response and reward. So, yeah, I think that one good step could be what you just recommended. You take the habit, and rather than it being two hours, let’s focus on the first two minutes. And this is something I talk
about in the book, you know, like focus on the two minute rule. Can you make the first action easy? So maybe your habit is actually
just making one sales call, not one prospecting call, not doing it for two hours, but the whole point of that
is that once you get started, you know it’s much easier
for you to continue. So we’re gonna try to set the bar low, so that you can get some momentum going. So that’s one approach. The second thing that you could do, is maybe address that
cue portion, you know? So, perhaps the thing that triggers you to make your prospecting calls is having your prospecting
list decided, right? Like, knowing exactly
who you’re gonna call. So maybe printing that
list out the night before and having it sitting on the desk is a good way to have a
visual cue that can remind you and make it easier for
you to get into the work when the time is right. Or you could set an alarm on your phone to go off at, say, 9 a.m. each morning, and that alarm could have
a little message on it that says, you know,
spend the next two minutes making a prospecting call. And so these little cues or notifications, these little reminders that kind of make that first action
more likely to happen, that’s another way to build that habit. And then the final idea that I’ll offer is related to the last
step of the process, so the reward. And basically whenever you’re
trying to build a habit, you want the end, or the finish of it, to be rewarding, to feel successful. Because if you feel successful or you feel like you enjoyed the process, then you have a reason to
repeat it again in the future. So one strategy that you could do, let’s say you have, like, a
jar of marbles or something, and in that jar you put
90 marbles that are blue and you put 10 marbles that are red, and whenever you finish
making a prospecting call, you pull a marble out of the jar. And if you pull one of
the blue marbles out, one of the 90 marbles out, then nothing happens. Just a pat on the back, good job, you did what you were supposed to. But if you pull one of the 10 out, then maybe you get some kind of reward. Maybe it’s a piece of chocolate, maybe it’s you get to spend 10 minutes watching a video on YouTube, maybe you get to browse social media, maybe you get to go walk outside. Whatever feels rewarding to you. But the point is that
now you’ve introduced kind of this little element of a game. There’s a reward. There’s a prize, a potential prize, and it feels more fun in
the moment to do the thing that pays off in the long run. And so those, those different
steps scaling it down and making it easy to start, creating some obvious
cues to trigger the habit, and adding in a little element of reward to make it more enjoyable in the moment, I think those are three different ways that you can make that
habit more likely to stick. Fantastic. Even just in these short five minutes, I can tell, James, that
you’re a content speaker, you’re not someone that goes in to give people a caffeine hit and come out, you know, feeling
exhilarated for 24 hours, and then returning back to
their normal way of life. I’m looking forward to you
coming over to Australia in June. We’re gonna see you at AREC, and I’m very, very confident that you’re gonna address two things, the two biggest issues. Keep this in mind, James. Agents want more prospecting,
and more exercise. They’re the two things that
real estate agents turn around and say, hey, I wish they
were just easier for me to do. You think you’ll be able to
deliver that in your talk? I love it. I’ll do my best to address both of them. Good man. Thank you so much. Great, thank you. I’m looking forward to it.

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