Understanding The Time It Takes Agents To Change Behavior


How Long Does it Take to Create Positive Habits in Your Real Estate Business?

good realtor habitsThere are 2 types of sales in this world, Retail Sales where the consumer goes to the product and Wholesale or Direct Sales where you have to take the product to the consumer.

Real estate falls under the Wholesale or Direct Sales Category where we are finding the product, either a buyer for the listing or the home for the buyer and delivering it to them. The huge reason for the failure rate in this industry has a lot to do with the fact that less than 5% of the industry in North America have any wholesale or direct sales background before they got into the business.

If the average age of a real estate agent is 55 years of age imagine the commitment it takes to change your behavior in sales, the amount of learning required to obtain new skills and prefect those new skills in this industry.

So how long does it really take to build a new habit? 

Phillippa Lally is a health psychology researcher at University College London. In a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Lally and her research team decided to figure out just how long it actually takes to form a habit.

The study examined the habits of 96 people over a 12-week period. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behavior and how automatic the behavior felt.

Some people chose simple habits like “drinking a bottle of water with lunch.” Others chose more difficult tasks like “running for 15 minutes before dinner.”

At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analyzed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behavior to automatically doing it. On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.

I have been working at mastering the real estate business for 22 years now and I still don’t feel I am anywhere close to the level I am seeking for myself. How long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit. In other words, if you want to set your expectations appropriately, the truth is that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life — not 21 day myth that we have heard for so many years.

So many agents take the path of least resistance when it comes to their behaviors, skills and habits and ironically the path of being uncomfortable is where we all find the greatest growth in our personal and professional lives.

So there is no reason to get down on yourself if you try something for a few weeks and it doesn’t become a habit. It’s supposed to take longer than that! There is no need to judge yourself if you can’t master a behavior in 21 short days. Remember you don’t have to be perfect. Making a mistake once or twice has no measurable impact on your long-term habits.

This is why you should give yourself permission to make mistakes, and develop strategies for getting back on track quickly.

Embracing longer timelines can help you realize habits are a process and not an event. All of the “21 Days” hype can make it really easy to think, “Oh, I’ll just do this and it’ll be done.” But habits never work that way. You have to embrace the process. You have to commit to the system. Understanding this from the beginning makes it easier to manage your expectations and commit to making small, incremental improvements — rather than pressuring yourself into thinking you have to do it all at once.

The success of you achieve in real estate comes down to what you do consistently to build your business day after day, year after year. I hope this post helps you with developing some high level habits so you can attain the success of your dreams.

Strength and Courage,

Wade

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