Are big teams making an impact in your market? You can compete. You can influence your market in ways they cannot.

  • The best defense is a solid offense.
  • Big team does not mean financial success.
  • Be a better boss to yourself: Most solo agents could benefit from an uptick in systems and accountability.

Are big teams making an impact in your market? You can compete.

You can influence your market in ways they cannot. Let’s take a look at a few strategies that work in favor of the solo agent or small team.


Real estate is historically a relationship and rapport-based business.

It still is. You can build these connections better than the big teams.

Make relationship and rapport the no. 1 focus in your business. Put it on the wall and build little systems around it. Those systems may look like:

  • Touching base with contacts on the phone and in-person consistently
  • Standard email and follow-up protocols
  • Minimum of two coffees or lunches every week with someone you value
  • Making personal connections on social media versus self-promotion

In addition, be more direct regarding your business goals this year with scripts such as:

  • Are you anticipating any real estate needs this year?
  • Our goals is to help 36 families this year. Who do you know who may need our services?
  • I promise you I won’t ask you these questions all the time, but I would not be doing my job if I did not ask you this every now and then.
  • I am always working on building my business. Who do you know that I should know?

On the phone

The big teams are crushing it on the phones.

Whether they’re staying in touch with their sphere to invite them to an event, thanking clients for their business, asking if contacts are anticipating any real estate needs this quarter, or cold-calling around a new listing, the big teams work the phones every day. And they practice.

What are you doing on the phones? Be accountable, consistent and authentic with this important activity.

And make sure the big teams do not pick up your orphaned buyers. If you fail to communicate with your clients after closing, if you fail to continue adding value, then you risk losing that connection.

Finally, please work in some practice time. This business is becoming more and more skill-based every day.

If you do not regularly put in time with scripting and presentations/consultations, then you risk losing business to agents who regularly sharpen their saw. Stay razor-sharp!

Community involvement

Solo agents can (and should) make a big impact with the right community involvement strategy. Your budget may be smaller than the big teams, but solo agents can do an exceptional job at the community and neighborhood level.

Be purposeful with this and have an annual plan and a budget. Involve your vendors, friends and neighbors.

When was the last time someone organized a neighborhood garage sale or food drive? Who are the elderly in your neighborhood or church who could use regular visits or errands?

Are you taking care of your kids’ teachers and coaches and mentors? What about the teachers’ aides and the assistant coaches and the janitor?

How about an annual class in your living room on how to appeal your property taxes?

How about a “shop local” campaign that you organize for your neighborhood shops?

With solid community involvement and relationships, your brand recognition and Facebook Ad campaigns can carry a big punch.

Stay connected

Stay connected with your clients after the sale to make sure they understand their home warranty, file their closing statement in their tax prep file, and file their homestead exemption on time. Congratulate them on their one-year anniversary.

Are you the go-to person for all things home-related? The person everyone calls when they need a plumber, painter, fence guy or appliance repair? Be that person.

Ditch the ‘salesy’ stuff

Today’s consumer does not like to be sold. You have most likely accomplished much of your success by not being salesy, by simply being your most authentic self.

Stay authentic in all your meanderings, activities, marketing, social media, communication and phone calls.

Net financials

Don’t be fooled by the big team net sales.

If they are not running a solid financial organization, not holding their expenses accountable and not following the proven models, then their net profit may suck. That big team winning all the awards? They may not be all that profitable.

What is your net profit goal?

What if you simply tweaked your expenses, improved your leverage, held your costs accountable, raised your price point a bit or some combination thereof?

You may not have to double your sales to double your profit.

If you get a bigger split from your broker for your leads versus the brokers’ leads, then you need to learn how to fish. If half your deals last year had a hefty split, then what happens to your net profit, your take-home commission, when that ratio shifts in your favor?

Put a nice little business plan around fixing that ratio, and that may have the biggest impact ever on your bank account and the health and predictability of your business.

Be the boss

So the big teams have the volume, systems, leverage, accountability — and they have someone who is the boss.

Here’s the problem with so many solo agents: They may be a really good Realtors, but they’re lousy bosses.

You are the boss of you, but you’re lacking in systems and accountability. Fix that.

Julie Nelson is the chief success officer at The Nelson Project, Keller Williams Realty in Austin, Texas. You can follow her on YouTube or Twitter

Email Julie Nelson.

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