To say the housing market is entering uncertain times is a profound understatement. It’s no wonder that many real estate agents are nervous. That’s why it’s more crucial than ever to develop a consistent plan to help you navigate the highs and lows.
Although Executive Coach Craig Zuber is usually the one interviewing, he’s in the hot seat this time. ClarityNOW’s CEO and co-founder, Jeremy Herman, spoke with him about why he became a nationally-recognized real estate coach and his tips for handling the market uncertainty like a pro.
Why did you become a coach?
Like many in the real estate market in the 2000s, Craig Zuber remembers the moment the 2008 recession began for him—and how it became the spark setting him on his path as a coach:
“...A phone call comes in. The secondary market has collapsed. And when you realize that the secondary market is gone and there isn’t anything to save—it changes everything…I didn’t have anybody helping me through it at that moment in time. That’s why I’m like, I want to become the person that I needed at the time to help me get through the worst time of my life. That’s the real answer.”
What do you wish a coach could have prepared you for?
“I wish they would have said to slow down and pay attention to what decisions you’re actually making. That’s what I wish they would have said. ‘What are you paying attention to when making these decisions?’ Nobody was doing that. A coach can give you that reality check and perspective when you’re in the middle of everything.”
Should you go for the base hit or the Grand Slam?
It’s tempting to always try for the Grand Slam. But there’s risk in that, explains Coach Craig. And you might be unable to weather that risk if you haven’t developed a consistent plan.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty out there today, and it makes sense because things have happened so fast. But the one thing that will eliminate certainty is consistency. They’re looking for the base hit, not the Grand Slam. Now, there are things that you will sacrifice for that, though. You might not have the extreme high of that Grand Slam and the stadium cheering you—you’re sacrificing that in exchange for not having the extreme low because you are consistent.”
For Coach Craig, building solid habits will bring you more value in the long run.
“You have to turn off the noise. The person that’s being consistent is focused more on themselves than they are on others. Massive action is awesome. The problem is that it only lasts for a day, a week, or a month and then falls off. The consistent person gets really good at doing the same thing repeatedly. Then they become excellent and create a habit versus just having energy.”
Does the 2008 market compare to today?
“It’s not really comparable… was an extreme situation, and we’re in a situation where things have adjusted in a six-month period, probably faster. It’s the second-fastest drop in history. The challenge is that facts don’t cease to exist because you choose not to look at them, and optimistic people usually don’t look at the things they need to to make great decisions. As a coach, my biggest fear is that people aren’t adapting quickly enough. The market’s changing, and you’ll get burned if you’re too optimistic.”
What would you tell someone wanting to win in this market?
“So the first thing I would say is, are you being the best version of yourself? Are you showing up each day? Are you doing all the necessary things that matter the most? If you’re leading yourself at a high level, I promise you; you don’t have to worry about anything else. You can’t skip steps when you’re leading yourself at a high level—you’re raising the standard by your actions, not by your words.
Right now, you either have the right people or the wrong people—there isn’t anything in between—and you better figure it out quickly. Did you hire people for a peacetime situation where things were really easy? Or did you actually hire warriors?”
What is the opportunity right now?
“It’s wintertime, baby. We’re here. The only two things that have changed are the messaging and the math. Most people don’t want to look at that math because it requires more work potentially. Unfortunately, the opportunity is disguised in overalls and looks like work. The opportunity is what will show up 16 to 19 months from now.
Reestablish who you are, what you want, what you’re willing to do, and the sacrifice you’re willing to make. There’s an opportunity to learn lessons about the things that got you here and won’t get you where you’re going. Your mindset will be better. Your character probably will be better. Your clarity will be better. Everything will be better when you step up and follow through, and are consistent with it. That’s the opportunity.”
What do people need to hear right now?
“If you care enough about people, you’ll gather all the information necessary to remind them why they’re doing it in the first place. People need to be reminded more than they need to be trained and educated.
Then, remember this impacts your team, family, colleagues, and everybody else inside your world. Remember that sacrifice when it’s really hard.
And I think the whole care aspect can’t be overlooked. We’re in the relationship business. Caring about our customers right now is reaching out and communicating with them about what the market’s like.”
Coach Craig believes the hard work and habits that agents build in the next 24 months will lay the foundation for the next decade or beyond.
“Spend the time to reflect on how you behaved at the highest level, no matter when that was in your life. Reflect on exactly what you were doing, what that environment looked like, who you surrounded yourself with, and what your attitude was like—what inspired you to get into that action.”