TNS Podcast Episode #41: Leveling Up in your Real Estate Business
Is Leveling Up a Buzz Word in Real Estate?
I am starting to hear this a lot these days.
“Taking it next level. It’s time to Level Up. I’m going to take my business to the next level.”
Are these buzz words in our industry right now? Do we know how to actually take a business, any business, to the next level? And what is the ‘next level’, really is subjective, what is next level to you.
Welcome to the Thrive Not Survive Podcast, I am your host, Kelley Skar. This is a show we put together to help you, the real estate agent, put actionable strategies into practice to help you grow and take your real estate business to new heights.
I think when we talk about next level when it comes to any business we first must understand a couple of things:
Most importantly, where are you at right now
What is a significant amount of growth in your business that you would consider next level
Do you have the time, energy, and money to do what it takes to grow past the average?
Ok, I am going to break down these 4 points so that we can have a good look at what we need to do to level up in our business.
Where are you at right now?
Are you tracking your business at the moment? If the answer is no, then don’t bother leveling up, you need to get some fundamentals down first. One of the fundamentals of any business is tracking where the income is coming from. You should have a good understanding of what your GCI is and what your Net out is at the end of every month. It is a good idea to have a P&L as part of your overall business as well, again to understand where the money that is coming in is being spent. That’s the first layer of this.
The next layer is discovering where all of your business is coming from. Imagine for a second that you aren’t running a real estate business but you are running a coffee shop. That coffee shop has a marketing and advertising budget, it has a marketing and advertising plan, in order for that coffee shop to survive it needs to sell what? Coffee, right? How are they going to get the coffee buying public in the door? That is the big question they are going to ask themselves. Once they have that plan, they execute, track and measure. Once a month they would have a marketing meeting, look at the budget and then look at the analytics.
Sales happened on this day because of this ad or this promotion. How much did we spend? Was it worth it in relation to the sales we had on that day? Can we duplicate it? Does it make sense to duplicate it? If it didn’t work, can we or should we revamp the promo and try again? Should we try a different day, a different week, a different time of day on a different week?
All of these things are important to understand if our marketing, advertising and promotions are working.
In real estate it becomes a lot easier, you likely have 3-5 lead generation pillars that you are either spending time or money on. Have a look at those lead gen pillars and determine if your resources that you’ve allocated continue to be worth it, are they paying off? Are you focused on the right tactic to produce the desired outcome?
Ok...figuring out where you are at in your business, I am sure you can see, is the most important part of this exercise of leveling up. If you don’t know where you are right now, how do you know what the ‘next level’ is going to be?
It has been said time and time again in real estate that you should be growing your business by at least 20% year over year. Not by me, but by almost every real estate trainer I have ever listened to.
Now, 20% doesn’t seem like that big of a number but let’s look at it for a second. If you did 30 deals last year, you need to not only do 30 this year but grow by 6.
Here’s the big question...are you not only going to be able to continue with the 30 from last year but where are you going to find those extra 6 transactions. See, this is why knowing where you are at right now is super important. Understanding what is working and what isn’t can help to accelerate the growth in your business by allowing you to reallocate resources to the appropriate lead generation pillar. The ones that work.
So what is significant growth to you? Is it double what the guru’s say? 40% growth? Is it 50% growth? Is it double what you did the year previous?
Here’s what I say to that, pick a number that makes you feel the most uncomfortable. A number that is so large to you that you have no clue as to where you are going to get that extra business. And from there, work it backwards through your business plan.
You Did 30 last year and you want to do 45 this year? Ok, what innovations do you need to make in the lead gen pillars that are working in your business right now? Maybe it’s not even innovations, maybe it’s spending some marketing dollars on ads. Maybe it’s taking training on how to convert at a higher level. Maybe it’s hiring a coach to help guide you to this spot. Whatever it is, you must understand the numbers and what your conversion rates are and how you are going to increase them.
Example: You’re generating 100 leads per month on Facebook ads but are only closing 1 deal out of that 100 per month. Is this a lead generation problem or is it a conversion problem? If you wanted to double your conversion it might stand to reason that you get some training on how to convert better. How to follow up better. How to get so good on the phones that you increase your call to appointment ratios.
To grow you must:
Focus on and double or triple your efforts on the things that are working to provide lead flow and ultimately transactions
Not be afraid to try new things that have the potential to bring an even larger lead flow into your real estate business
Time, Energy, Resources
The first layer was analysis.
The second layer of growth was refining your current efforts and bringing in new innovations.
The third layer of growth is going to be a self examination exercise. No, I’m not talking about that kind of an examination! I’m talking about getting real with yourself and asking the hard questions.
Am I happy with the status quo?
Is adding an extra 30, 40 or 50% to my current business going to improve my life?
Do I have the wherewithal to learn what I need to learn in order to improve my business?
Do I have the time to devote to increasing my lead flow and bettering my conversion rates?
These are granular type questions but ultimately the question that we should be asking ourselves is: Why do we want to level up?
Maybe taking your business to the next level isn’t monetary at all.
Maybe at this moment in your career the next level is getting your business so systemized that you could bring in a monkey and have them push buttons all day and still be able to run at the level you are at or to, at bare minimum, increase your efficiency.
I focused a lot of this podcast on the monetary of going to the next level but maybe this is an exercise in increasing efficiencies first so that you can, at some point in the future, handle the increased lead flow.
You can use these three questions of growth or leveling up in every aspect of your business.
The one thing I would suggest, before you go monetary with this exercise, is to use this exercise to analyze your business practice to understand where there are gaps that need to be filled, this could be you going next level first and then taking it monetary in phase two.