As real estate professionals, we make a lot of mistakes. I mean, that’s what failing forward is all about, right? The real estate industry is an unforgiving labyrinth of opportunity that can be as cruel as it is rewarding and as perplexing as it is simplistic. To make matters worse, there are an infinite number of ways to build a successful business and nearly as many coaches eager to lend contradicting guidance and insight. That’s why, as with many things in my life, I try to take as common sense an approach as possible and let the right path reveal itself.
I do this with many things, diet is the most obvious example. Rather than count every calorie and macronutrient, or weigh every piece of food I consume, I simply stick to eating real food, not too much, and mostly eating plants. This kind of simplicity allows me to be more flexible in making adjustments as I see fit and finding what works best for me over time. And, oh boy, does it work.
The same can be said for a real estate business. We often spend so much time thinking about how to build the perfect business, or investing in yet another coaching course or mastermind group trying to find the answers we’ve been searching for.
And while there’s nothing wrong with having an insatiable thirst for knowledge or growth, the truth is, most real estate professionals that are struggling to grow are making one or more key mistakes that, if rectified, would radically change the trajectory of their business. Here are the most common mistakes real estate agents make and how to avoid them.
They Don’t Lead Generate Every Day
This one is obvious. So much so that it tends to get filtered out with the rest of the noise that we don’t want to hear. We all know we need to lead generate every single day. We know the only way to build the business of our dreams is to get more customers and that only happens by lead generating. We’ve heard it, we know. So why don’t we do it?
This may feel like a punch in the gut, but if you’re not hitting your production goals, or trending in the right direction, my guess is you haven’t been leading generating enough. Plain and simple.
Ask yourself honestly, when was the last time you lead generated for three solid hours every single business day for a month? if you can remember, it’s either been too long or the answer is never. I cannot say this clearly enough: If your habits don’t match your goals those aren’t your real goals. Either change your habits or come up with goals that match your current desire to succeed.
If you’re not actively and consistently generating new leads, you’re not going to have any customers to work with. It’s as simple as that. The most successful agents in the business make lead generation a priority every single day. They treat it like a real job with set hours and specific goals. And they do whatever it takes to build a pipeline that matches the vision they have for their business.
This industry is one in which we can’t come in late, do the bare minimum to not get fired, collect a paycheck every two weeks and hope for a promotion down the road. If you’re not where you want to be, start showing up like the someone that deserves the business that you want.
They Don’t Leverage Non-Dollar Productive Activities
You are not the best person to do everything in your business. I promise, you’re just not. There are only so many hours in the day and if you’re spending all of them on activities that could be done by someone else, or worse, aren’t directly producing income, you’re going to have a hard time scaling.
The first step is to make a list of every activity you do in your business on a daily basis. Then, ask yourself if that activity is dollar productive. If the answer is no, it goes on the second list. These are the activities you need to outsource or automate as soon as possible. How will you know if it’s a dollar productive activity? I’m so glad you asked! There are only five:
- Setting appointments (Lead generation)
- Going on appointments
- Negotiating agreements (Buyer and seller reps)
- Negotiating contracts
- Going to closings
The last one is, I believe, dollar productive as it’s your best opportunities to ask for referrals. If you’re doing anything besides this, it’s not a dollar productive activity.
That’s not to say that you can leverage all of your non-dollar activities on Day One, this is something you’ll need ti scale into. However, there are many aspects of your business that can be leveraged immediately, such as transaction management, that should be delegated from the start and can be paid for out of your revenue so it’s not an upfront cost. That’s the kind of scalability we want.
The key is to be aware of how you’re spending your time and if it’s actually moving you closer to your goals. There are a lot of things we can do in our businesses that feel good, but don’t actually produce results. If something isn’t working, don’t keep doing it just because that’s the way it’s always been done. The most successful agents are constantly evaluating their business practices and making changes as needed to ensure they’re always moving forward.
Trying to Start a Team Too Quickly
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to build a team, but if you’re not ready for it, it can be a big mistake. Trying to start a team too quickly can lead to all sorts of problems, from hiring the wrong people to not being able to properly train and support your new team members.
If you’re thinking about starting a team, the first thing you need to do is sit down and evaluate your business. Are you ready to take on the additional responsibility? Do you have the time and energy to invest in training and supporting a team? Are you generating enough leads to support an additional person? These are all important questions to answer before taking the leap.
The majority of agents that try starting a team do so for the absolute worst, most wrongest (sp?) reason ever. They want to get out of production.
Let me make this as clear as I possibly can through written word and without a megaphone. You will not work any less hard, nor will you be any less stressed, nor will anything in your life or business get easier simply because you’re no longer in production. In fact, it will quite likely be the opposite.
Getting out of production is, and should be, the natural progression of a well-built, robust business that has a massive value proposition for its agent partners, concrete systems and processes for every aspect of the business and a leader that is better suited working on the business, rather than in it.
In no way do I mean to make that sound scary or unfeasible, quite the contrary, the best real estate businesses are headed by non-producing leaders. However, you have to scale your business properly and for the right reasons. You will know when it’s time to step out of production when your agent partners are more successful with you out of production rather than in it. Until then you need to lead from the front.
If you can commit to avoiding these mistakes, to lead generating every single day, leveraging your non-dollar productive activities, and avoid the pull of stepping out of production too soon, you’ll have an enormous amount of flexibility to build your business in a way that suits your strengths and minimizes or elevates your weaknesses. Stay true to these principles and you’ll have a much easier time course correcting and scaling a business that meets your goals.