Having a Growth Mindset - Why It Matters In Real Estate and In Life

Robert Dodd | 7/10/2020 1:37:00 PM

Overlay of businessman over man climbing mountain.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected millions around the globe, causing an economic downturn that hasn’t been seen since the early part of the last century. This has, of course, turned the real estate industry on its head. Sales have slowed to a crawl, income has fallen precipitously, and negative emotions are running high. The downturn in the real estate market has affected real estate agents across the country, many of whom are struggling mightily.

If you’re one of them, we’re here today to bring you some good news and some hope during these trying times. Also, to show you how, with a growth mindset, you can turn times like these to your advantage. If you’re frustrated and anxious about the future, keep reading to discover how, with just a few simple psychological changes, you can come out the other side of this crisis smelling like the proverbial rose.

Man pushing boulder up incline.

The Little Real Estate Agent Who Could

A friend of mine told me the story about his Uncle Louis. Uncle Louis was a real estate agent in the 1990's in New Jersey. A Belgian immigrant, who had been trained in school as a butcher in his home country. He never went to college but, growing up in Belgium in the 1950s, he learned more about life than any school could ever have taught him. He also learned quite quickly that he didn’t want to be a butcher his entire life, and so, with his sister’s help, he immigrated to the United States.

The reason I bring up Uncle Louis, besides the obvious connection to real estate sales, is this; he wasn’t just any real estate agent, he was the most popular, most successful real estate agent in the entire area. Uncle Louis listed and sold more homes than anyone at his agency, by far, even though his English was broken, he was 46 years old when he started, and his education level was practically nonexistent.

Anyone outside looking in would think there was no possible way for Uncle Louis to be so wildly successful, especially in a highly-competitive market like New Jersey in the 1990s. He was up against agents that had double the experience and could talk circles around him. And yet, he didn’t just do well, he exceeded every expectation.

The reason why was something that, at the time, was unknown to most folks; Uncle Louis had a growth mindset.

What Exactly is a Growth Mindset? (And what does it have to do with the real estate industry?)

A growth mindset is what sets Uncle Louis far apart from a crowded field of real estate agents. Funny thing is, he had no idea he had it, and, at the time, the term hadn’t even been coined yet.

In basic terms, a growth mindset is when an individual believes that their talents can be developed through hard work, persistence, patience, and utilizing good strategies.

Someone who has a growth mindset...

...Believes They Can Develop Their Talents

This is the key. Believing that, no matter what you’ve been given physically and mentally, you can take your gifts and make them better.

...Doesn’t Worry About Looking Smart

Many of us are so caught up in trying to ‘look smart’ that we fail to actually do what’s needed to succeed. Looking smart becomes the goal rather than succeeding.

...Prepares Better Than the Rest

When you have a growth mindset, you’re always preparing. For the day, the week and the month(s) to come, so that when change happens, you’re ready to face it and overcome it.

...Takes Ownership of Their Situation

People with a growth mindset don’t tolerate complacency and hold themselves (and others) accountable. They say what they do and do what they say and won’t settle for anything less than maximum effort.

...Isn’t Afraid to Fail

When you have a growth mindset, you look at failure as just another part of reaching success. That failure is simply a temporary setback and, more importantly, an opportunity to learn.

...Embraces Challenges Fully

Those with a growth mindset never look for the ‘easy way’ but instead relish a challenge and the chance to prove themself, not to others, but to themselves.

...Celebrates the Success of Others

Rather than being threatened or jealous of the success of others, people with a positive mindset realize that if another person has succeeded, it means they can succeed also.

...Takes Action

Positive mindset people know that taking action, doing what it takes to succeed is the only way to get ahead. They take action every day to move towards their goals.

...Helps Others to Get What They Want

Folks with a growth mindset know that to get where they want to be in life, they need to help others get there too. Not only that, but they embrace helping others fully.

...Have a Driving Passion for Learning New Things

Those with a growth mindset never stop learning. They soak up knowledge like a sponge, seek out learning opportunities, and strive to become experts at whatever they do. They attend seminars and webinars, read books like crazy, and attend mastermind groups regularly.

If your Mindset is Fixed, You’ve Got To Fix It!

OK, so we’ve looked at what it means to have a growth mindset, and we’ve seen how Uncle Louis used it to his distinct advantage to list and sell more homes than people with twice the skill and experience.

The question remains, however, about how you can change your current mindset to a growth mindset and, more importantly, how it will help you become a better, more successful real estate agent.

To do that, let’s take a quick look at the opposite of a growth mindset: A fixed mindset.

Woman resting head against wall.

When you have a fixed mindset, you believe that you’re good at a certain something, like playing the banjo, learning languages, or selling real estate, or you believe that you’re not good at those things and thus shouldn’t even try to get better.

Someone with a fixed mindset feels that they have a fixed or finite amount of intelligence and skill. In other words, no matter how much effort they exert in pursuit of a specific goal, there’s no way they’ll get better. Thus, exerting effort, patience, dedication, and persistence is simply a waste of time and energy.

A person with a fixed mindset:

  • Believes that their talent is fixed and can’t be improved
  • Avoids challenges
  • Believes that their failures define them as a person
  • Try to hide their flaws
  • Doesn’t try to learn new skills so that they won’t fail
  • Thinks all feedback is negative (and, even worse, is a personal attack)
  • Believe that talent is the only determiner of success

Now, we don’t know about you, but all of those traits seem extremely self-limiting. Imagine, for example, if good old Uncle Louis had a fixed mindset. He wouldn’t have gone into real estate because his English wasn’t perfect, that’s for sure. Learning new skills like marketing, branding, generating leads, or real estate law? Forget it! And the challenge of doing all of that would have been far too much for him to overcom­­e (at least in his own, fixed mindset mind).

The thing is, if you’re stuck with a fixed mindset, either because of how you were taught or the way you were raised, you’ve got to fix it! You’ve got to get out of that mindset and into a growth mindset, or you’ll be stuck forever in whatever rut you’re in! (And COVID-19 is a big rut, no doubt!)

The good news is that, if you’ve gone into real estate, you likely have a growth mindset already. Let’s be honest, the real estate game isn’t for the timid. It’s got plenty of challenges and throws plenty of curveballs your way. If you can’t roll with the punches, you’ll get knocked out, and fast.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at how you can use your (already) growth mindset to get prepared to rock when this pandemic fall comes to an end.

How Can a Growth Mindset Help You Become a More Successful Real Estate Agent During a Pandemic?

As we have already seen, these are indeed challenging times. The good news is that, with your newfound growth mindset, you’re ready to face these challenges head-on! Let’s use the same set of growth mindset traits from before as our starting point.

Man studying in front of laptop.

Develop Your Talents

Since the start of this godforsaken pandemic, we’ve all had a lot more time on our hands, stuck at home trying to stay sane (If you’ve got kids, it’s even tougher, no doubt.) With all this time on your hands, however, NOW is the time to develop your skills.

  • Learn everything there is to know about your local area
  • Improve your negotiation skills with your partner or a colleague
  • Study the rules, regulations, and laws in your area
  • Learn about staging, photography or even how to fly a drone to take photos and videos
  • Learn about Lead Generation
  • Learn All You Can about How Social media works
  • Attend Training and Seminars

Forget About Looking Smart

Start asking questions if you don’t know the answer to anything. If a client asks something you don’t know, admit it and tell them that you’ll get the answer for them. (Make sure you do and get back to them!) Practice humility and always be willing to take advice (even if you don’t need it). Looking smart and being smart are very different. The former has almost no value, with the latter is priceless.

Woman wearing toolbelt.


Now is the time to get prepared for when the pandemic ends. Work on your sales pitch. Update your business cards. Improve your website. Make sure all of your supplies are stocked, like lawn signs, flyers, etc. Set up a blog if you don’t have one, and social media pages like Facebook and Instagram.

Speaking of which, if you have a blog, you should be posting to it often, as well as to any social media pages you already have. People still want to buy new homes, sell their homes, and buy property! When they finally have the opportunity to do so, all the time and effort you put in now will pay off handsomely.

Communication is another great way to prepare. It’s free and easy with today’s technology and builds your personal brand (and the public’s affinity for your brand) immensely. Right now is the time to build your pipeline, market yourself like mad, and boost your lead generation.

It’s the best time to be in contact with past clients too, who will appreciate the conversation and refer you to their friends and family! Using eCampaignPro to supercharge your email marketing is a great way to prepare, too, as well as sending postcards. Plus, learn all about TikTok, the latest social media craze that everyone’s using.

Take Ownership

Here’s where you need to look a little deeper and ask yourself this question; have you been doing everything you possibly can to be the best real estate agent you can be or just getting by?  If the answer is the latter, it’s time to take ownership and start putting out maximum effort. And if people around you are doing the same, stop accepting it and call them out on it too. (With a good bit of tact, of course.)

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

If your efforts don’t immediately pay off or don’t pay off at all, don’t get bent out of shape. Move on to the next challenge and learn from that failure!

Climber looking up at rock wall.

Embrace the Challenge(s)

Changing your mindset isn’t easy, nor is changing to meet the challenges that the post-COVID-19 world will likely bring. Don’t let that prevent you from moving forward, learning new skills, and improving your current skills. Challenge yourself to get better, learn more, and do more!

Celebrates the Success of Others

This is tough for many people, to be sure. Seeing someone else do well while you stay stagnant (or go backward) can be frustrating and stressful. But guess what, it doesn’t have to be! Be happy for those people! Celebrate with them and, if possible, ask them to share the secrets to their success with you!  You may just end up getting a mentor out of the deal, which helps you become a superstar.

Take Action NOW

Practically all of the things we’re talking about can be put into action starting right now. Not only is it vital, but it’s also the perfect time to do it! You’ve got time to spare! (And let’s face it, binge-watching shows on Netflix isn’t going to get you anywhere.)

Group of climbers helping another climber.

Helps Others Get What They Want

Whenever you can, help colleagues who aren’t at your level yet to get there. Set up a Facebook group and share ideas. Get on a Zoom call and brainstorm. Answer questions to the best of your ability and show these folks what you’re doing. The more you help them, the more you help yourself!

Learn New Skills

We touched on this already, but it begs repeating; learn something new! Anything you can do to help you as a real estate agent! Now is the time to do it because, guess what, you have the time to do it!

Some Closing Remarks

There’s an old saying that goes like this; every cloud has a silver lining. COVID-19 is a pretty darn huge, ugly cloud, to be sure, but the silver lining it brings is that it’s giving you time to prepare as you’ve never prepared before. Learn those skills, study, communicate, and get yourself ready. This crisis won’t last forever and, if you prepare now, you’ll be able to fire out of the gate like Secretariat when it finally ends.

We hope this article inspired you and took you out of any type of funk you might be in due to the pandemic. From all of us here at eCampaignPro, be safe, love your neighbor, and we’ll all get through this together.

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