If you are in the real estate business, then you inevitably find yourself swimming in what I call “marketing ponds”. You tune into and follow people who put themselves out there as having a lot to say about all things related to getting new customers. This includes real-estate specific gurus and coaches such as Mike Ferry and Bob Loeffler of Fearless Agent but might also include more generalized marketing experts such as Dan Kennedy. Of couse, being that social media has taken over the world, you probably know about people like Gary Vaynerchuck as well.
Gary is one of the most recognizable faces in the get-business-via-social-media universe. Gary is a part-owner in his family’s wine store in New Jersey but his ticket to internet stardom came from doing a DAILY YouTube video podcast where he reviewed wines and used the exposure to get people to visit his store’s website where they bought wine. And they bought a LOT of it. After that, Gary branched off and became one of the leading voices in the social media marketing space and has subsequently written more three books about social media marketing (all of which you should read) as well as creating a consulting company that helps show big brands how to use social media effectively.
Gary V has a lot of great things to share which is why you should follow him on Facebook, but the mini-post he just put up today really seems to take the cake. At least in my mind. It reflects something that I’ve been saying for a while now but which it seems (at least to me) most Realtors simply do NOT get. The screen cap below shows the post from Gary and I’ve edited it to bring out the point that Gary made which I say needs to be at the center of everything that you do – not just in business, but in life. (here’s a link to the original post) and represents what you, as a real estate agent, need to be thinking about from Day #1 in your business. Read Gary’s words and then jump to the bottom of this post and I’ll explain more about why this is so important…
Okay, so did you get it? The central concept that real estate agents need to be thinking about as they start their business from scrath (or take it to the next level) is “What Am I Trying To Achieve?” What do YOU really want YOUR business to look like? I think that there are literally THOUSANDS of real estate agents who’s minds are caught up in nothing more than numbers. Numbers of closing and numbers of dollars in commissions. This is especially true of what I call the “poster boys” and “poster girls” of the gurus. You know what I’m talking about. The 5 or 10 people that have trained under the guru who are super-advocates for that guru. Like Karen Bernardi is a super-advocate for Mike Ferry. That kinda thing.
Usually, these people are very focused on numbers and the effect is that those who ARE considered top performers (more than 20 closed transactions per year) but not part of the one-tenth of 1% elite in real estate see these superstars and become what I call “numbers focused”. They buy into the idea that they need to always be seeing their business “grow”. The major line of thought put out there on that is…
If You’re Not Growing, Your Shrinking
…or if you’re not making progress and seeing more deals close and more money flow in then you’re on the way out the door and you don’t even know it.
This is wrong. It is untrue. At least it’s untrue for real estate agents. The real estate business IS different from other businesses. The principles, concepts, and concerns of the boardroom as outlined in Inc. and Fortune magazines are NOT the same types of concerns found in the real estate business environment. The landscape is very different because it’s hyper-personal. Big brands try to use social media to “get more personal” but their best efforts are not even on the same playing field as real estate agents are where “personal” business is concerned. It’s different and anyone who tries to take the “you need to run your real estate business like a BUSINESS” advice to an extreme level is HIGHLY likely to find themselves with a business that isn’t really what they wanted in the first place.
YOU HAVE TO BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
You have to know what you want your business to look like so you can forge it to become that very thing. Real estate is a “lifestyle business” by default. That is, you can bend it to build the kind of life for you and your family that you envision. If you don’t have a clear picture though, you’ll likely build a business based on what other successful people are doing and that tends to be centered around chasing numbers. Let me give you a personal example…
I love to be in the outdoors. Hunting and fishing are the things that REALLY get me excited. My dad wasn’t into that stuff so we pretty much never did any of it when I was a kid. It wasn’t until I was almost 30 years old that I discovered that I LOVED everything that has to do with the outdoor life. Bass fishing, steelhead fishing, fly fishing for trout, jigging for walleye, trolling for salmon, ice fishing, deer hunting, duck hunting, upland bird hunting with dogs…I love ALL of it. And I didn’t know how to do ANY of it. And I was married with kids and learning that stuff later in life is time consuming and expensive.
I don’t happen to care. My goal is to build a business where I close 52+ transactions that are over the $200,000 price point. That will take care of the MONEY aspect of pursuing my dreams of a hunting/fishing-infused life. Once I hit the 52 transaction level, I’ll start tweaking my business so that I can get those same 52 transactions…but do it working only 4 days per week. That will take care of the TIME aspect that stands between me and the hunting/fishing life.
The “final form” of my business will be when I add on 5 or 6 agents and the additional support staff to get those agents doing 52 deals per year and splitting the profits with me….but only doing it while working 4 days per week. Once I achieve this new standard in my business and get it down to a science, I’ll take any profits that I make from these split deals and I’ll invest them for long-term wealth growth.
At some point I’ll be earning $1M per year in passive income I’ll MOST likely step out of the daily business of listing homes and will (hopefully) be able to turn over my book-of-business to my kids. From that point, my income will be solely from my investments and running the team of 5/6 agents that I built over time. People DO go through changes and so the agent I have on my team will eventually quit and go their own way. Nobody stays anywhere forever. When that happens, I’ll have whichever kid that has taken over the reigns of my business replace those agents one by one and as they move on in life. So eventually, that source of business will be fully passed on to the next generation. When NONE of the people I’ve trained are working for our team anymore and the team is comprised of solely those agents that my children have recruited and trained, then I’ll retire COMPLETELY and live off of my investments alone.
That’s MY very clear plan.
Without a very clear plan you can’t build your business YOUR way. What are you trying to achieve? What’s YOUR clear plan?