This April, one of Inman’s most popular recurring theme months returns: Back to Basics. All month, real estate professionals from across the country share what’s working for them, how they’ve evolved their systems and tools, and where they’re investing personally and professionally to drive growth in 2022. It’s always smart to go Back to Basics with Inman.
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Without the use of leverage, your business cannot be all that it has the possibility to be. Leverage can come from several different places, but for this article, we will focus on the leverage that can be generated through knowledge, people, products and systems. The following is a synopsis of the leverage Doug Edrington, CEO of J Douglas Properties, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, utilizes that led to his team closing more than 500 transaction sides in 2021.
Leverage no. 1: Knowledge
The ability to gain knowledge and training has never been so accessible. YouTube, podcasts and social media provide immediate access to an incredible amount of free training and ideas for agents.
“Agents a few decades ago had to figure it out on their own,” Edrington said. “The knowledge we have access to today is where leverage should begin.”
Wondering how to generate more listings in a low-inventory environment? Google it, watch a video on YouTube, or use the search bar for articles on this subject on Inman. Wondering how to build your database with willing and able buyers? Search for the answer online. Whatever it is that you want to learn about, it is available through a simple search.
Make sure you are utilizing the technology available to provide everything you need for your most valuable leverage asset, knowledge.
Leverage no. 2: People
“Whether you are a single agent just getting started or you’re a seasoned team leader who oversees a large group, the leverage people can provide for your business growth is immeasurable,” Edrington said. “Single agents usually have a lender they refer their clients to, an inspector they partner with, a surveyor they prefer, and a closing attorney or company they utilize whenever possible.”
Having a network of trusted professionals gives the single agent the ability to confidently turn certain aspects of their business over to others so they can continue searching for new ways to generate transactions.
Team leaders have administrative help, transaction coordinators, marketing support and photographers/videographers that help them leverage their time to serve more clients. They understand the money spent on these positions is an investment, rather than an expense. This understanding leads to increased leverage.
“Leverage with people must be a two-way street,” Edrington stressed. “The buyer’s agent you add to your team is leverage for you by helping you scale your business, but they should also be gaining leverage for themselves through the association with you and your team to learn the business and by having access to leads and opportunities they would not otherwise have.”
When you create win-win scenarios where leverage is mutual, growth happens for everyone involved.
Leverage no. 3: Products and technology
“Products and technology provide leverage in a way knowledge and people cannot provide,” Edrington said. “They provide organizational standards and give each team member the ability to thrive.”
Do you utilize a CRM to create efficiencies with your database? Do you leverage any social media content calendar software programs like Monday.com or Hootsuite to increase your social media effectiveness? Odds are there is a software program or tool available to help remove some of the mundane tasks you are doing in your business. Search those products out and your productivity will rise.
The use of products and technology provides an opportunity for agents to spend less time on lower productivity items and more time on the most important part of our business, meeting with clients.
Leverage no. 4: Systems
“Systems provide the format and leverage for our scalability,” Edrington said. “They provide an organizational structure and client experience that can be duplicated again and again.”
What is it that you do often? Anything you do more than three times should have a system in place for the next time it needs to be done.
If any system or repeatable part of your business is in one person’s head, including yours, you are vulnerable. Every repeatable part of your business should have a checklist or process so that if the person who normally handles that task is out, someone else can complete it utilizing the system and documentation that is in place.
Do you have a checklist for the steps you take when a listing agreement is signed? Do you have a system in place for follow-up with a buyer post-closing? Do you have a process for hosting an effective open house? By utilizing checklists for these activities, you will know that your client will receive the best service possible from you and your team.
Simple checklists and systems are the leverage you need to scale your business.
Where your business is today is just scratching your potential. If you are looking to grow, take advantage of the opportunities leverage provides to make the coming year your best year ever.