As a real estate agent, you are a business owner. This means you have to look at yourself as a business and learn to grow that business using systems and processes. It doesn’t matter whether you are a one person team or 100 person team, you have to constantly evaluate how you can become more efficient. Below are 4 ways agents fail to reach their potential.
They fail to delegate
As an agent, you have a lot on your plate. You are a salesperson, marketer, bookkeeper, customer service rep, and that’s just naming a few roles. In the early stages of building your business, you will likely have to do all of these things yourself; however, if you want to take your business to the next level, you will have to learn to delegate. You simply don’t have enough time to reach your potential if you are trying to handle everything yourself. We suggest examining what your strengths and weaknesses are so you know where to start delegating. If you are not great with bookkeeping, find someone to handle that work for you. If you aren’t good at marketing, try looking for a local marketing agency or assistant. Online assistants can be a huge help and save you countless hours of annoying work.
Learning how to delegate is the ONLY way to scale because time is a limited resource. If your goal is to grow and reach your full potential, you need to be evaluating ways to become more efficient so you can create more time to focus on the things that actually grow your business, or that you actually enjoy doing.
They don’t build effective processes and invest in good software
Real estate is very process-intensive work so you have to build systems that will allow you to turn your business into a well-oiled efficient machine. From prospecting to team management to contract administration, there's just so many moving parts that go into this business that inefficiencies can potentially disrupt. You have to connect the dots and put the right processes and software in place to reach your potential.
Your systems should allow you to do ALL of the following:
- Streamline activities
- Manage transactions
- Communicate with stakeholders
- Track and project results
- Assign responsibilities to team members
- Conserve energy to pursue opportunities for further growth
Three of the systems you should have in place include:
Marketing and Sales:
This means Facebook marketing, social media, website, and collateral. You need to build a marketing funnel that guides leads through the decision-making process so that they can be primed before they give you a ring.
For listings especially, it’s imperative that you establish a standard operating procedure from start to finish. Everything from research, to cleaning and staging, to home visits, requesting a positive review to your Zillow or Yelp profile, and down to the gift basket you send at the end of the transaction.
If you don’t want to build the system yourself, there are loads of companies within the real estate space that can get things set up for you, and then either continue to manage it for you or just hand over the keys if you want to bring it in house.
Communication and Relationship Management Systems:
You have to invest in a simple, easy-to-use CRM to track all of your correspondence and activity with clients. They also help you automate communication with clients but a lot of agents are resistant to this because they think it’s impersonal. It’s really up to your personal preference and time management. The key is having a central place to manage all your clients and communication so you stay on top of it all and provide clients with a great experience.
If you’re working within a team, use communication and project management apps to delegate and keep track of assigned tasks and more importantly, the output of those tasks. Some examples are Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Asana.
If you can hire an accountant, do it. If it’s bothersome to record every single transaction at the moment of receipt, then have a physical inbox where you toss every document you get during the week. Then designate one day of that week to go through them to digitize or upload to QuickBooks. Getting behind on finances is never fun so do your best to stay up to date.
They don’t set goals
One major benefit of having a system is being able to track and project what the next few months and years are going to look like. This is what CRM’s are especially good at. Set monthly, quarterly and yearly goals to scale your business. Then, you can reverse-engineer your goals and figure out what you need to do to accomplish them.
They focus too much on the short-term
Network. Network. Network. It takes years to build consistent deal flow.
Invest in your sphere of influence - not just your leads. You never know who might provide a referral or who might need to move in the near future.
Join organizations, and form partnerships. Every single person that you work with during the course of a real estate transaction should become a source of referrals to you.
Focus on building long-term relationships and your business will be successful in the long term.