Until you are…

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO EMBRACE REAL ESTATE AS YOUR CAREER, BUILDING A TEAM IS THE MOST REWARDING WAY TO DRAMATICALLY INCREASE YOUR PRODUCTION, ALLOW YOU TO WORK ON THE PARTS OF THE BUSINESS YOU EXCEL IN AND ENJOY, WHILE ULTIMATELY PROVIDING YOU WITH AN EXIT STRATEGY.BEFORE YOU JUMP IN THOUGH, YOU NEED TO ENSURE THAT YOU COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND AND EMBRACE THESE FOUR PRINCIPLES.

Principle #1: Begin with the End in Mind

Everything you do should be framed with the idea of building a salable asset and creating your exit strategy. To most agents, the next transaction is the focus. In my experience, most real estate professionals do not have a retirement plan let alone a strategy to sell their business or train a replacement and enjoy residual income for years to come. You need to be a long-term thinker.  Remember, begin with the end in mind so you can focus on laying a strong foundation, staffing it with the right people, and growing a profitable real estate business.  There needs to be order in the chaos.

When is the last time you sat down and did a thorough assessment of your business?  And if you have, did you consider your long-term goals?

To get you started, answer these questions:

  • What is your ultimate outcome? 
  • Do you have an exit strategy? 
  • How do you know if you have a salable asset?
  • What actions must you take now to work towards your exit strategy?

Principle # 2: Run it like a Business

Are you running a real estate business, or is IT running you?  Running it like a business means you have made that mindset and operational shift to working and thinking as a small business owner.  When you truly internalize this principle, you will experience a shift in the way you operate.  It is more than a mindset shift. You will become that business owner who thinks and operates from a different level.  Most real estate agents operate in a sales-only mode where the business is generally running them.  

How do you answer this question … What do you do for a living?  I have asked this question to 1000’s of agents over the years, and the response is generally: “I am a REALTOR, I sell real estate, I help people find their dream home, etc.” I encourage you to flip the script and answer with “I Own a Real Estate Business!”  You are an entrepreneur and small business owner…make this Mindset Shift NOW!

When you think and act like a fortune 500 company, then you will start to make decisions like a true business owner. Initially, this means you have effective and efficient business and real estate systems in place to support your team (small business).  Here are the recommended core systems to implement or refine:

  • Business Plan and Goals
  • Unique Value Proposition & Branding
  • Niche Marketing and Advertising Strategies
  • Past Client & Referral System (Your Database)
  • Listing & Farming System
  • Buyer & Escrow System
  • Lead Generation & Follow-up System
  • Internet & Social Media Marketing Strategy
  • Business & Financial Metrics 

Principle #3:  Brokerage within a Brokerage Model

Building a team doesn’t necessarily mean you should start your own brokerage. In fact, I suggest you enjoy the many benefits that come with building your team within a company that supports team building.  Leverage your brokerage’s training, tools, and systems along with your unique value proposition to attract and retain productive team members.

In this model, you can focus on your team’s production, and dramatically increase your own by the way.  Let your company handle the risk, liabilities, and requirements for running a brokerage, such as; regulatory compliance, commission handling, facilities management and operating expenses, dealing with complaints, disputes, and litigation.

Principle #4:  Working “ON”  and “IN” your business

Most small business owners are consumed with working “IN” their business and never stop to work “ON” their business. Many peak performing agents have optimized the tasks that create closed transactions and, as such, are thriving.  As the owner of a Team, however, you must shift your focus to packaging and presenting your knowledge and systems to your team members so that they can succeed.  Team members are primarily seeking leadership, mentoring and support.

The challenge is scheduling the time to work ON your business.  Remember, IN the business is the day-to-day transactional side (working with buyers and sellers). ON the business is building and managing the systems that are the foundation of any successful business, such as effective and duplicatable real estate systems that team associates can simply plug-in to.

This is easier said than done, and most agents are not able to find the balance to execute this essential principle.  The solution is to block time each week and commit to working “ON” your business.  If you currently do not have solid real estate systems in place, then it is simply going to take time to complete.  Be patient and stay the course.  Focus on one system at a time and execute the action items step-by-step.  If you have an assistant, then include her or him in the process of implementing the systems, building your operations manual and procedures guide.

At the end of the day, if you internalize these four principles, you will instinctively know when the time is right to build your team. If that time is now, you are about to embark on an incredible and profitable adventure.