An entrepreneur is defined as “an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards.” That sounds like a real estate agent to me!
I’m definitely a serial entrepreneur. I loved being a top-producing real estate agent, innovative brokerage owner and now a tech start-up founder. So, as we head into 2021, I thought I would offer some tips on embracing your “inner entrepreneur” to skyrocket your business in the coming year.
1. Think narrowly to achieve broad success
Entrepreneurs focus on a unique idea and become experts in that area. They “niche down” until they can get to being No. 1.
I became a successful agent (the No. 1 condo agent in an urban section of San Francisco) by being laser-focused on the type of business I would do, and we encouraged all of our Climb Real Estate agents to do the same.
This hyper-focused approach enabled us to become experts in an area of our own choosing, provided structure to our marketing and promotional activities, and enabled us to attract and win more business. Climb became the top company in our “territory” by a wide margin, which propelled us to nationwide visibility, and generated even more success for our brokerage and agents.
Focus on what makes you unique as an agent. Finding your niche doesn’t have to be based on location. It can even be how or where you market and brand yourself. The key is to keep “niching down” until you can become No. 1. Here are a few tips:
- Analyze the business and type of clients you’ve done in the past
- “Own” a marketing strategy. Do you host monthly community parties? Are you the No. 1 tech-savvy or a social media agent?
- Find an up-and-coming area or source of business. Is there an industrial area that’s turning residential or a company moving into your market that you can become the “in-house agent” for? What about the area you live in (clients love working with agents who also live in the area)?
Focusing is hard — but unless you can find a way to become a top agent in your category, it’s hard to “rise above the noise.”
2. Let go of your fear
Entrepreneurs let go of self-doubt, because to get big results, you have to take big risks. To succeed in real estate, you need to have real expertise, leads and a good reputation. In order to achieve that, you must be willing to invest in marketing.
I had great success with Zillow leads when I was an agent. I started out spending a minimal amount with decent results ($100 a month). I knew, however, that if I wanted to be No. 1 and own the market, I had to think bigger.
I had to find a way to reach 10,000 people, not 10. I was nervous, but I started doubling my spending until I bought 100 percent of my primary ZIP code ($10,000 a month) — and my business exploded.
Letting go of self-doubt is hard, but you just have to go for it. Here are a few tips:
- Find a coach to hold you accountable and keep you on track.
- Test to see what works. If it works in small doses, it will most likely work in large doses.
- During times of adversity (like this pandemic), consider tripling your marketing while others are pulling back.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Entrepreneurs find ways to overcome lack of resources. Identify the tools and people who can help you succeed, and ask for help.
Everyone in our business is stressed for time, and while the need to work “smarter not harder” might sound like a cliché, it’s absolutely true. You need to find ways to maximize the result of every action you take.
A large part of our agency’s success was due to the fact that Chris Lim (my partner) and I had complimentary skills. I was great at technology, strategy and the overall vision. Chris was amazing at marketing, brand, sales and recruiting. We also utilized technology to eliminate the busy work and allow us to focus on building relationships, securing clients and closing deals.
Take time to analyze what you’re missing in your business, and surround yourself with whatever it’s going to take to fill those holes. Here’s what you can do:
- Get advice from experts and mentors. People innately like helping others, you just have to ask. You will be surprised!
- Overcome your fear of technology and make it work for you — especially now that in-person meetings are rare, and you need to present your best “digital self.”
- Focus on your strengths, and find help for everything else.
Start thinking like an entrepreneur, and challenge yourself to increase the success of your business tenfold 2021! Build a solid plan, believe in yourself, and seize the opportunity. I’ll be rooting for you!