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Whether you’re leading a real estate team of new agents, experienced professionals or a combination of the two, there are always going to be questions.
Why? Because there are constantly new people entering the industry, and those who have been in the business for a while are contending with new technology and an ever-changing, fast-paced industry. And, if you’re hiring high-achieving team members, they are going to want to keep leveling up their skills and growing.
As a leader, you don’t have to have all the answers, but you do need to know what agents are asking and why. These are clues to their fears, interests, goals and where they are (or are not) learning and growing.
I’m also a big believer in creating a system and structure, a platform, from which agents can launch and be successful. That includes education and training, and perhaps most importantly, teaching them how to think and learn on their own.
Those personal and professional growth skills will benefit them as real estate professionals, as leaders or wherever their careers take them. And remember, sometimes the best answer to a question is a question.
Let’s get right to it and dive into some of the most common and pressing questions asked by agents on teams.
What should I be doing today?
The simple answer is: Lead generate, and meet with clients. Yeah, it really does come down to those two things.
Lead generate until you have made an appointment. Then go on that appointment. If you don’t have any clients to meet with, keep lead generating until you do.
I also recommend creating an ideal daily schedule. This starts from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to bed.
What is your morning routine? When do you get to the office? Do you start with script practicing before going into your first lead generation session? When will you check email and follow-up with clients? When will you workout? Do you have time carved out for your family? When will you go to bed?
Discipline equals freedom. If you can control your calendar — and actually stick to it — you will create a virtuous cycle of success.
If you have agents on your team, make this so easy for them that all they have to do is open their laptop, plug into the system and start calling. They should know who they are calling and what to say.
If you are looking for a different answer than “lead generate,” you may not be accepting your current role. Either lead generate for agents/talent or lead generate for clients. Either way, you’re lead generating and meeting with people. It’s that simple.
How am I supposed to get all of that done in a day?
Extreme time management is one way. What does your calendar look like? Are you actually following it? You must be purposeful in your actions and show up consistently.
Get clear on what you want (and what only you can do) and then leverage or say no to everything else. Who can help you? How can you succeed through others? Can you partner with another agent? Hire a virtual assistant? Join a team that takes care of all the marketing, operations, administration, and education and training for you?
Remember the Pareto principle: 20 percent of your activities should be producing 80 percent of your results. Does your time actually reflect this? If you work 50 hours a week, are 10 of those hours producing 80 percent of your results? If not, dig into why.
How do I get better leads?
There is no such thing as a bad lead, just bad (usually lack thereof) follow-up and inadequate conversion. This can all be overcome with time on task over time.
Consistency is the name of the game. The typical internet lead takes seven to nine attempts to contact before contact is actually made. Don’t give up. Too many agents do.
The best leads are the ones who are followed up with until they convert — two days or two years or more from today.
I have been calling for weeks, so why do I have so little to show for it?
This business is a marathon, not a sprint.
Sure, you might get a buyer who calls in on one of your listings and wants to make an all-cash, non-contingent offer and close in 30 days, but that is few and far between. Consistency. The agents who win are the ones who don’t give up.
How do I net more without working more hours?
One way is to increase your personal average sales volume. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to work only with luxury clients. Simply increasing your average sales volume by $100,000 could net you a few additional thousand dollars per transaction.
Another way is to work on your negotiation skills. Take a look at your average commission. Is it in alignment with your market? Is it less than what you deserve? Negotiate! But make sure you always lead with value and results.
Lastly, take a look at your calendar. I will also go back to this. How purposeful and productive are you? Are you working 30 hours a week, but spending 10 of them scrolling through social media? Cut it out! Take those 10 hours to lead generate and meet with clients, and your net income will increase.
What books should I be reading to grow personally and professionally?
One of my favorite questions! One, which I will answer with a question: What areas of your life or career do you need to learn more about? In what areas do you need to grow?
From there, I can point you in the right direction. Agents need to make sure they are reflecting on and understanding their specific needs. One size does not fit all when it comes to growth.
That being said, here are a few books to get you started:
- The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
- The Surrender Experiment: My Journey into Life’s Perfection by Michael Singer
- Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
- The Dichotomy of Leadership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin
How do I compete for listings in this market?
What is your unique value proposition? What sets you apart? How do you do things different? Focus on your unique value.
Maybe it’s a “Guaranteed Sold” program. Maybe it’s a massive network of local buyers. Maybe it’s leading-edge video marketing. Be you, and emphasize what you do best.
Know your data. Position yourself as a true local expert by having the most up-to-date market data available. Use this data to show, rather than tell, a prospective seller what their house is worth in today’s market.
Take it a step further, and educate your clients on what is happening in the industry and with the economy and how that effects their buying and selling power.
Have more conversations. It’s a numbers game. You may not win every listing appointment, or listing, but your prospecting should be listing-focused. List to exist in today’s market!
How should I be diversifying my business lead sources for long-term stability?
Like with any business, you should have multiple pillars or multiple streams of income. This applies to lead sources, too.
Now, that doesn’t mean you do everything. When you try to do too much, you usually end up doing nothing at all. What I recommend is determining what your three or four best lead sources (greatest ROI) are and double down on those.
Yes, the market will continue to shift and change, but consistent lead generation, follow-up and attention to the customer experience will keep you competitive. As long as you are willing to shift and change, too.
Here’s an example: Maybe one of your top lead sources is Facebook. You enjoy social media and find that you’re able to stay engaged and add value on that platform. But new social media pops up all the time — are you ready for it? You can’t be so stuck in your ways that you miss other opportunities, particularly if they are so close to your niche — think TikTok or Clubhouse.
The same goes for other lead generation. Perhaps your mortgage lender is your best lead source. That’s great! It means you know how to build deep, meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships. How can you expand on that? Can you create partnerships with insurance agents, title, attorneys, builders and more? Yes, you can!
Stay creative, and stay informed. Both will help you identify opportunities for diversification before you even need them.
How do I create boundaries around my real estate business while still being available to my clients?
This comes down to doing some deep inner work. It’s easy to say you value your family or your volunteer work or your fitness, but quite another to actually say no to clients to preserve your proclaimed values.
There are all sorts of reasons for not having boundaries and constantly being available to clients — money, a genuine desire to serve, significance and more. What is it for you? What do you really value? And more importantly, what are you willing to sacrifice? And what is non-negotiable?
Start there, and then stick to it. I find that I respect those business people who say “no” much more than those who say “yes” to everything. It shows that they know what is important to them and that they do have boundaries. And who doesn’t want that?
I’m starting to make a significant amount of income from my real estate business. How do I use that money wisely?
First, live below your means, and save more than you spend. Determine an annual income that you will live on, and then pay off debt. Invest the rest.
I like to use the bucket system to allocate my income: monthly living expenses, security (six months of personal living expenses), taxes, fun and investments.
Investing is where you have a lot of options depending on your risk tolerance, interests and how involved you want to be in the investments. Two of the best investments you can make are in yourself (education, training, your health, etc.) and in other people.
But, like with anything, you need to start with the end in mind. Spending money wisely is a somewhat subjective thing. What is important to me may be different than what is important to you. Get clear on what you want and how you want to show up each day, and then you can work backward from there.
Your money is simply a tool. When you understand that, you will use it wisely.
As the saying goes, the quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions that you ask. The key to any question is making sure you are constantly taking action, learning and growing. From there, keep asking bigger and better questions and create a virtuous cycle of growth.
Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies