My father was a butcher. So, I know a thing or two about slaughtering cows–or pigs, for that matter. What a great way to start a blog, huh? But, I have your attention. In fact, some times the livestock were so stubborn my dad had to use a cattle prod (probably a precursor of the taser.) Those cows really got a move on when they felt that prod!

So, do we need to get a move on and stop nurturing those sacred cows?

We real estate professionals are creatures of habit. One of our favorite sayings is “we’ve always done it that way”. Or, “it won’t work in my area.” However, in this time of great change, we must take a hard, honest look at how we do business—and ask ourselves if it’s really in our best interests to continue that business practice. This is an especially important thing to do right now, as we head into winter, and start to think about business plans.

What’s a ‘Sacred Cow’ Anyway?

So, let’s get right to the looking. To do this, let’s use the ‘sacred cow’ approach. What is a ‘sacred cow’? In animal life, is a “plodding, bovine mammal of numerous stomachs and dubious intelligence regarded in some climes as holy in origin and therefore immune from ordinary treatment.” In business, it’s “an outmoded belief, assumption, policy, system, or strategy, generally invisible, that inhibits change and prevents responsiveness to new opportunities.”

Some Sacred Cows That Need to be Put to Pasture

If you’re newer to real estate, you may not realize that our industry even has   ‘sacred cows’. That’s when you should be extra cautious. So, heads up.

Here are four sacred cows that real estate professionals need to examine for their viability (and perfect for reviewing your business plan):

            1. ‘If you don’t list, you don’t last’. How much money did you spend on listings last year? How fast did they sell? Change that sacred cow to “if your listings don’t sell, you don’t last!

            2. ‘The best way to establish trust is to have all the answers’, Are you talking too much and finding out later that you’re missing a critical piece of information about your buyer or seller? Quit talking and start asking great questions. Take the ‘consultative’ approach.

            3. ‘Any client/customer is better than none’. Really? How much time are you wasting with buyers who can’t or won’t buy—and sellers who won’t list at the right price? Change your paradigm to ‘I work with people who value my time.’

            4. ‘An experienced agent doesn’t need a visual presentation’. Sure. They’ll believe what I say if I just talk a lot. Not anymore. Substantiate your claims of excellence with sophisticated visuals such as testimonials and statistics. That’s professional sales. We believe what we see, not what we hear, should be your new presentation mantra.

Taking the ‘sacred cow’ approach at least yearly is the way you can assure your business strategies are up to date. You can’t afford to put your head in the sand as changes are occurring with warp speed around you! Are you ready to kill your sacred cows—or, at least, put them out to pasture?

Hey–what are some of the sacred cows I didn’t mention?