3 Keys to Achieving ICON Status by Brian Simmons

Use these keys to plan the strategy you will use to achieve ICON status here at eXp.

$56.75 is a number I’ll never forget. That is the amount by which I achieved ICON status my first year. The last transaction closed on January 22nd and I had until January 31st to hit the target. By a stroke of luck, I had a cash buyer who wanted to put an offer on a property sight unseen and away we went. I tell you that because I think it’s important to know that not all ICON agents are doing 100 transactions a year. I did just enough to get there that first year. How did I do it then, and again since then? In reviewing how it all came together, I realized that there were three big keys to earning that achievement: Strategy, Process and Mindset. I’ll lay them out for you here.

Key #1: Strategy.
There’s a really incredible quote by the late, great motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar that means a lot to me. He says, “I don’t care how much power, brilliance, or energy you have. If you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target and hold it there, you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.” It may be a little bit wordy, but the whole point of that quote, and the most critical part, is that you need to know where you want to go. You need to know your target and I did.

I’m a big reader. I love picking up new ideas to help me accomplish my goals. In a Jim Collins book, he talks about your target being your BHAG; your Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Once you define your target, all the other decisions you make will relate to it. Your strategy will be the vehicle you choose to achieve it.

For the sake of demonstration, let’s say your BHAG is to save a million bucks and you want to retire in 10 years. What you need to do next is to break that down because everything you do must align with it. If you need $150,000 a year to live on and you need to save $100,000 per year (times 10 equals $1 million), your target for income is $250,000 a year. We’re doing simple math here without taxes or interest.

What does $250,000 a year in gross commission income look like in your market? If you assume a 2.5 percent commission, that’s $10 million in volume. If, in your area, homes are selling for around a million dollars, that’s 10 transactions. Learn the demographics of your market, but also consider yourself. Who do you align with most? Are those in your network million-dollar buyers and sellers? Or are they first-time home buyers with smaller budgets–seeking lower-priced properties? Do the math. Play with the numbers so you know what it will take to hit your target.

The next step is to get tactical. How are you going to go after them? What’s your action plan for meeting those people and for serving them well? The key here is to leverage your strengths. If you are a social butterfly and you can go through a room and shake every hand and come out with 20 new friends, awesome! Embrace that. If you’re better at sitting back in your office and reading a script and cold calling, awesome! Embrace that.

Here’s a sample action plan to hit your target: Join the country club, if you aren’t already a member. You’re going to do more than just join the country club, you’re going to join the men’s golf league or women’s golf league and you’re going to get granular. You need to say, “I’m going to take six people golfing, every single week–six different people every week and in addition to that, I’m going to eat lunch or dinner, three times a week at the country club.” That level of granularity is what you’re looking for. You’re looking for actions that you can check off. There’s no “kind of.” You didn’t “kind of” take six people–you did or you didn’t and that’s the level of granularity that you want to have because that’s what’s going to create the ultimate level of accountability for you.

Again, all those actions feed back up to your BHAG. So, you’re taking six people golfing and eating dinner three times a week at the country club because you know that that’s what’s going to get you in front of the type of people who are buying or selling million-dollar homes. Connecting with them will allow you to sell 10 of those a year, so you can make $250,000 in gross commission income. This will allow you to live off of $150,000 and save $100,000 and in 10 years you will have your million dollars.

The next part of your strategy is to execute. Now that you know what to do, you just get it done.Focus all your effort on those activities but still treat every other opportunity like gold. Remember that $56.75 I mentioned? If I would have just pushed one deal to the side because I didn’t think it was a good one…because I didn’t want to sell that $50,000 property…because the client was a pain in the butt, or whatever the deal was, if I had just said, “You know what? I don’t want to deal with that guy anymore.” I wouldn’t have made ICON. I focused on my target, but also took advantage of other opportunities that came within reach.

Key #2: Process.
Once you have your strategy mapped out, it’s time to develop the process. Process is a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end. Your process is very, very specific. It’s how you’re doing things each day.

I start every day with what is the closest to putting money in my bank account, and work backward from there. Do I have checks to deposit? Do I have deals in escrow? What can I do to keep them moving forward? Do I need to respond to an addendum? Do I need to touch base with a client? Do I need to follow up with a listing agent? I handle the details of transactions that are already in the works first.

Then I go to my hot buyers and active listings. I strongly suggest you focus your time on people who are ready to buy or sell right now. Do that before you focus on trying to find new clients. If you’ve already got people ready to buy, help them before you go find more people who are ready to buy. You don’t want to step over dollars to pick up dimes. Focus on what’s closest to making you money.

Key #3: Mindset.
This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s probably the toughest key. Mindset is the attitude that motivates you to do the tasks you need to do to reach your goals. It’s where you constantly ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.

You can always sit on the couch, watch Netflix, eat ice cream, or do whatever all day. But, no. You have the mindset of an ICON–of someone with targets to hit. It’s a discipline thing. It’s that reminder of why you do what you do.

To help with your mindset, make a list of your whys. Why do you want to achieve ICON status? Is it for the stock? Is it for the accolades? For the other opportunities that open up once you’re there? Or is your target beyond that achievement? Is it something you want to provide for your family? Financial independence and having a solid plan for retirement? Is it to build a team and help others achieve success in their real estate careers?

Once you know what it is that motivates you, create reminders around you. Figure out what helps you to flip your mindset to one of working toward your target in a disciplined manner. Maybe it’s a poster with a quote. Maybe it’s a picture of your family. Maybe it’s a vision of your future. Put pictures in your wallet, your car, at your desk–all around you.

Most people already know how to be successful, but they’re just not disciplined enough to make it happen–and that’s the sad reality. If you want to make more money, you work harder or you work smarter or you do both. It’s easy to talk about it, but can you be about it?

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