Atlanta Agent (AA): What dangers do real estate agents face in growing too comfortable with their business?
Shatima Tankson (ST): The danger in growing too comfortable with your business is, basically, you have no business.
How are you going to eat tomorrow? If you become complacent and take it as something that you do, you will never survive, and your business will never flourish for you.
AA: What can agents do to make sure that never happens?
ST: Do not be an undercover agent! Make sure that everyone knows about you. Everyone I speak knows my signature, which is, “I am Realtor Shatima.” I make sure that people know who I am, and I ask for business. “I really need to know who you know who is looking to buy a house. Let me know how I can help you, or give me someone who I can help.” You have to be upfront with it.
AA: Did you enter real estate with those concepts in mind, or did you learn in time what approach to make?
ST: I entered real estate from a very young age shadowing my aunt, so I had a great experience growing up in the industry. I also supported real estate agents, builders and developers in marketing and virtual assistantships, so I developed a great understanding of the industry before I became an agent, which really helped me.
So with my business today, I am not growing it perfectly, but I am growing it because I desire to, and I am intentional about what I am doing. You will not hear this from many people, but this is my ministry. I am in this business because I desire to help people. Because of what I do, I am helping people’s dreams come true. I am helping people each day and every day, and get paid for it. So helping people comes first, and getting paid is just a bonus.
Also, my business is nothing without my faith, my business coach Regina Polk and the entire team at Keller Williams Realty Buckhead. I really have a dynamic support system, and I am continually improving myself because of that continue support and the endless training opportunities I am able to take advantage of. You must have a team behind you in the spiritual, business and support areas.
AA: How can agents design their business to be recession proof?
ST: I briefly touched on this before, but to reiterate – you need to be intentional about your business. The work we’re doing now is a direct result of what we did months, if not years, ago. I know that all the things I have going on right now is because of the relationships I built over the years, even if they do not apply real estate. I know many people, and because I reached out to those people, and I care for them and nurture them, they really know me. I built that relationship, and because of that, my business is going to be recession proof.
Make sure you are doing more, and not just depending on what you have in the pipeline, because even if the client closes, then what? If they do not close, then what? If they go with another agent, then what? If they cannot even do the transaction, then what? You cannot depend on what you have going on now. You have to constantly be thinking, “How am I going to get my next deal? How am I going to help the next person? Am I helping as many people as I can? If not, I really need to check myself.”