Take Your Business From Ordinary to Extraordinary

What does it take to have an extraordinary business these days? A full pipeline? Happy clients? Or do you want more balance and to be able to take some time off this summer?

It is difficult to have an extraordinary business when there is too much to keep track of. Imagine a river, flowing smoothly, representing the business we long to have. As your business river flows along, things have fallen into it (such as logs, garbage, fishing line), creating a dam which gums up the river and slows down the flow. The only way you can get back to a fully-flowing river is to clean it out and allow yourself to simplify. Are you ready to take a good hard look at your business and simplify? Here is my four step simplification process:

Step 1: Run Lean

By “lean” I mean cutting out what you don’t need or doesn’t provide you with a return on your investment. I encourage you to take a good hard look at your last three months of expenses. Are there lead generation expenses, memberships or other things that you are paying for that are not adding to your bottom line, causing you to work more hours to pay for them or causing you stress? Maybe you even have expenses that are creating stress or guilt because you are not putting those resources to good use. You need to decide what to stop doing and what to stop spending money on so that you can regain focus and control over your pocketbook. Make a list of what those things are and then make a decision.

Step 2: Operate with Blinders

Now that you have cut some of your unnecessary expenses and systems it’s time to think about discipline. Imagine walking up the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard at night. All the lights are on and each casino is trying to lure you in. It is easy to look back and forth, weighing the possible benefits that lie within. However, if you walk up the boulevard with blinders, you won’t be tempted by all the bright shiny objects to the left and right. You need to run your business the same way. Stay focused on your goal and don’t get pulled in different directions.

From productivity apps to CMS systems, drip campaigns and more, the bottom line is that you need to find one system that works for your database. You need a system to track your potential clients. You need one way to mail to your database, past and potential clients. You need one way to generate leads that you work on a consistent basis. Jumping around from one system to another costs you time, energy and money. Determine the right system for you and stick with it.

I see brokers abandon systems that they perceive do not work simply because they have not taken the time to thoroughly learn them. They think the grass is greener with another system but haven’t taken the time to water the grass in their current system. Investing more time and energy into tweaking a system to work for you makes a lot more sense than jumping ship.

Step 3: Get the Right People on Your Bus

Your bus is your business. It’s supported by assistants, team members, transaction coordinators, photographers, stagers, marketing folks, lenders, inspectors, title and escrow and more. Even your managing broker is on your bus!

Take a look around. Are these the right people for your bus? Do they operate from day to day with a positive outlook, strive to get the job done and always have the clients’ best interest in mind? Are they proficient and passionate about the job at hand?

When the wrong people are on your bus it drains your energy. It can impact your attitude and efficiency. Getting the right people not only helps things run smoother, but it can also challenge you to do a better job because you are working with inspirational people who hold each other accountable.

Step 4: Take Action Now to Thrive with Change Later

You must accept that the market is in constant flux and guard against this with consistent action. There will be markets where there is a glut of inventory with few buyers. There will be markets with little inventory and a glut of buyers. There will be periods with high interest rates, little new construction, or a lot of investors. There is no use worrying and whining about the current market or what is around the corner. If you want to succeed in any market, you must continually be sowing seeds and then care for and water those seedlings.

The seeds are your database of past, current and potential clients that you care for. You nurture these seeds by planting them each in the right bucket. Each of these buckets of seeds is cared for in different ways. If they are past clients you water them with client care. If they are current clients you deliver service that goes the extra-mile. If they are potential clients then you guide them to market with your lead generation system. But if you abandon the seeds when you get busy then they are just going to wither and die. Write down your system for nurturing each of your three buckets of seeds. Set a reminder and regularly evaluate if you are doing what you need to do to fill and care for each of your buckets.

Three Business Buckets

In business you have three groups of people who can feed your new business: your past, current and potential clients. Think of these as three buckets that you fill with your client care, creativity, and energy. When these buckets are full, your business will take good care of you. If you are struggling, often it is because you have neglected one of these buckets of clients.

Three Business Buckets

Your potential clients are those people who have indicated they will likely buy or sell in the next year. My recommendation is to track this group closely, try to maintain at least twice your gross commission income goal with this group. If your gross commission income goal is $150,000, then strive to have $300,000 in potential gross commission in your potential income tracker at all times. If you don’t have twice your gross commission income goal, then that is a good indicator that you need to step up your lead generation efforts.

Sow the seeds through lead generation and then care for and water them through consistent communication. Reach out at least once a month and provide them custom research on their particular real estate needs. This might include showing them what properties are available in their price range, information on interest rates and monthly payments, or you might even be on the lookout regarding new inventory. For sellers, you might create a report showing “new potential competition” or information on “list to sales price ratios” or “days on market”.

Your current clients are those people you are currently working with—active buyers, listings, anyone under contract. These folks are in full bloom and they are going to get most of your attention. Just make the transaction smooth and memorable and keep in touch when they become seeds once again.

Your past clients are an amazing referral source and need special care and handling. You need to keep in touch at least once a month, preferably via mail, on your brand, and with information relevant to real estate in your local area. They also need something extra special once a year like a review of their property or an invitation to a client appreciation event.

The “Secret” Formula

There is no magic, secret formula for an extraordinary business. It just takes discipline and the ability to cut out what you don’t need. Once you trim, stay focused. Keep your business lean and mean. Any time you consider adding or buying something, ask yourself, “Does this get me closer or further away from my goal?” Remember, everything you buy or sign up for requires your money and your energy. Make sure it is worth it.

Having the right people on your bus will bring energy to your business. The wrong people will pull that energy away!

Finally, verify that you have a system for taking amazing care of your three buckets of clients and make sure you sow and take care of those seeds.

It takes simplicity to have an extraordinary business.

Denise Lones

The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. Visit www.thelonesgroup.com for more information.

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