OpinionAgent

Thanks Henry Ford: Assembly line thinking still works in real estate

  • Thinking of your business as three distinct segments allows you to dissect, analyze and improve your processes to create lifelong customers.

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There’s an excellent TV show called How It’s Made on the Discovery Channel. Have you seen it? The show takes you through manufacturing processes, assembly lines and how different things like screwdrivers and jawbreakers are made.

There may be 50 different processes that an object goes through to come out the other end as a marble, an iPhone or a motorcycle helmet.

It’s amazing how complex things are, yet how simple and elegant they look when you see what goes into the engineering process to create them.

Watching this type of breakdown can give you a new outlook on complicated things, even your real estate business.

You start to wonder: If my business was an assembly line, what materials would I need? What process needs to happen to get to the end of the assembly line — the sale or purchase of a home and creating a lifelong customer?

A three-prong approach

A breakthrough starts when you stop thinking of your business as one entity and divide it into three core units that make up your business:

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  • Before the transaction
  • During the transaction
  • After the transaction

When you look at your business in those terms, as three moving parts, each with their own distinctly measurable income goals and their own impact areas, youʼre able to analyze it better.

As real estate agents stop thinking about their businesses as this “one thing,” they put themselves in a position to accelerate growth.

Before the transaction

This unit of your business is the portion where you find, identify, educate and motivate people to come to your business for the first time. This is the lead generation and nurturing portion of your business.

During the transaction

This unit of your business delivers the experience that people have when theyʼre in the middle of a transaction with you.

It starts from moment you begin looking at houses with clients and potentially doesn’t end until they have spent their first 60-90 days in their new home.

After the transaction

This is all about nurturing lifetime relationships and working with the people who already know, like and trust you, so that they do business with you time and time again and bring you referrals.

Don’t sell yourself short

When agents break their business down into three stages, they typically find that they are focusing on only one of the three units.

I often hear of agents who “don’t really advertise” because most of their business comes from referrals. It’s almost like a badge of honor to them. They don’t dirty their hands with marketing because they don’t have to.

It makes me sad to see people limiting themselves to just one stream of business.

When you break down what you’re doing into simple units, it allows your creativity to flourish, which means more transactions, a better quality of clients and more free time. And that’s just from getting a grip on the before the transaction unit.

As you drill down, each section will get more specific and detailed in your approach.

When you really get down to it and start examining each one of these units, there are dozens of different ways to grow your business. Thinking of it as three parts is just a diagnostic tool that allow you to make a visual map of your entire business.

Room for improvement

With the goal of creating lifelong customers, think about your business as a moving assembly line to bring clarity to your processes.

Visualize the process from meeting a stranger to creating a forever client.

What has to happen along the way? What areas can you improve upon? How efficient is your business? Can you explain the process from stranger to lifelong client as if you’re narrating an episode of How It’s Made?

Once you’ve analyzed your business, focus on your pain points, and automate anything you possible can.

Afra Sanjari is the owner of THRIVE Listings in Orange County, California. Follow him on Facebook or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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