There are hundreds of formulas for stable, long-term success out there — but according to top producer Jimmy Burgess, only one has really stood the test of time. It boils down to these three key ingredients.

After 27 years in the real estate business, I’ve seen strategies for business growth come and go. But one formula for success has stood the test of time — and it may be more valuable now than ever.

The formula is simple. Gain as much knowledge about this business and your local market as possible. Give that information away freely to as many people as possible. Grow like wildfire by building systems and processes to help more people.

Here, I will outline the steps needed in each of these processes to help the coming year be your best year in real estate.

Gain knowledge

“Knowledge itself is power,” was first said by Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Your ability to gain knowledge and then share it with others is the cornerstone of building your reputation and influence in your market.

Your business will not grow until you grow first. The foundation of your growth is the knowledge you gain about your local market and how to effectively serve your buyers and sellers. Many agents want to grow but they aren’t sure where to find the knowledge they desire.

Growth should be fun, and for that reason, I use the acronym PARTY to help you find the resources you need to grow.

P – Podcasts

Podcasts provide a great way to learn on the go. No matter what you’re looking to learn, simply go to whatever service you use to consume podcasts, and use the search bar to find podcasts and podcast episodes covering the topic you want to learn.

Maybe there’s a local podcast that shares the history of your area. Or maybe you prefer a podcast that shares tips on how to grow your business and serve your clients better. Whatever it is, podcasts are a great way to gain the knowledge you need to grow your business.

A – Audio books

Audio books through apps like Audible provide access to books on any subject through an app on your phone, just like podcasts. Books about your area, real estate market cycles and best practices for your business are readily available.

The old saying that readers are leaders still applies, and I would add, listeners are learners.

R – Read articles

If you’re reading this article, you already know the value of written words. If you are consistently reading and searching for knowledge, you can’t help but grow.

T – Tour homes

Understanding the inventory of homes currently for sale is a must if you are going to become the local market expert. The best way to gain knowledge about homes currently for sale is to see the homes currently for sale.

Accomplish this by visiting open houses, doing preview walk-throughs of homes for your current buyers or going on listing tours if they’re available through your local MLS. Seeing homes leads to knowing homes, and knowing homes leads to market knowledge.

Y – YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. Anything you want to learn can be found with a simple YouTube search.

Curious about how to generate more listings? Search YouTube. Looking for ways to market your new listing? Search YouTube. Whatever you desire to learn can be found on YouTube.

Give freely

Knowledge may be power, but only if it is used and shared. The second step in the success formula is to give freely of the knowledge you’ve gained. The beauty of our business is that the more value you add in the marketplace, the more the marketplace will reward your business.

Giving freely of the knowledge you have can be accomplished with video, social media, blog posts or in-person meetings like first-time home buyer seminars. No matter how you decide to share your knowledge, there are certain things you should be sharing to add the most value to your current and future clients.

To explain the different types of information people want and need to hear, I will use the acronym FREELY.

F – Facts

You should be the source for facts about your area. People considering a move to your area are interested in the demographics like school rankings, crime statistics and access to services like medical facilities and lifestyle amenities.

These items are public information and readily available. Share the facts about your area and the reasons why people love living in your area. By becoming the local information resource, your business will grow.

R – Really cool places

People are drawn to agents that love their community. What are some of the really cool places you love in your area? Where is your favorite spot to watch a sunset? What is your favorite park in your community and why is it your favorite? Where are the places you find extremely interesting and that you enjoy visiting in your area?

Excitement is magnetic and it draws people to you. Share your favorite places and watch your ideal clients emerge.

E – Expert market analysis

For your ideal client to make the best decision possible, they need to understand the local market environment. They need to know what the average list to sell price for your area is to understand negotiations.

They need to know the sales price of the homes comparable to theirs to understand why you are suggesting the listing price you suggest. They need the knowledge you have, and by freely providing that knowledge to the marketplace, you will see results.

E – Empowering information

What is the knowledge you have that empowers people to save money, enjoy community activities or live fuller lives? Share the difference between refinancing their home at today’s rate versus the rate they may have from when they bought four years ago. Make them aware of discounts available at local businesses. Publish information about upcoming community events that they may not be aware of.

You might be thinking, but this has nothing to do with real estate. I would argue people do business with people they know, like and trust. By empowering them to live better lives, you will be their agent of choice when it comes to real estate.

L – Local stories

People love the history of their community or the community they are considering becoming a part of. Interviewing the elderly person that has lived in your city for their entire lives and allowing them to share the changes they’ve seen is entertaining. A park ranger sharing the history of the local park with you on video is a great way to give freely of local information.

By sharing the stories about your area and enhancing the lives of others, your value in your community grows and grows.

Y – Your favorite places

What are your favorite local restaurants, charities and local businesses? By sharing information about your favorite places, you help the local business gain exposure that is always appreciated. You also give residents or soon-to-be residents the ability to hear about businesses they may not be aware of.

This is a great way to help local businesses and to grow your influence in your community.

Grow like wildfire

Once you have the knowledge and are giving it freely to others, build the systems that can help you provide the level of service that will lead to repeat customers and referrals. In order to share the strategies needed to grow I’ll use the acronym CARE.

C – Create systems

Systems are the leverage you need to scale your business. Do you have checklists or systems in place to orderly execute the steps needed when a new listing comes in, a buyer goes under contract or a new lead comes into your CRM?

If not, now is the time to begin the process of systemizing your business for growth. If your business is going to grow to the levels of your potential, systems are a must.

A – Add support

What are the support roles you need to add for your business to help you grow? Is it a transaction coordinator, administrative assistant or marketing coordinator?

A time will come when you need to fill key positions that leverage the growth of your business. If you are serious about growing your business in the coming year, it is time to identify the support staff you need to assist with that growth.

R – Reward clients and referrers

Saying thank you and rewarding your clients and the people that send you referrals encourages them to repeat the behavior. Small gifts, donations to their favorite charity or a simple thank-you note are a great way to stay top-of-mind and set yourself apart as their agent for life instead of just one transaction.

E – Evaluate constantly

What you inspect you can expect to grow. Constantly evaluate your business to identify inefficiencies and strategies that are successful. What is the ROI on your lead acquisition expense? Is your farm profitable? How many calls do you need to make to set an appointment?

By evaluating constantly, you will become more efficient in your execution of the business, leading it to grow like wildfire.

If you’re growing your knowledge, sharing the knowledge you gain  freely and taking CARE of business, it can’t help but grow.

Jimmy Burgess is the Chief Growth Officer for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida. Connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.

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