Six Keys to a Thriving Real Estate Business

1 - Shift to the Business Owner Mindset

  • As Michael Gerber states in the eMyth Revisited  – you are the 3 key roles when you start your business:
    • CEO – vision
    • Manager – operations; customer service
    • Technician – sales & marketing; content creators

Successful business owners have these 3 traits:

  1. a great work ethic (they show up and work their plan),
  2. unwavering perseverance and
  3. a positive, make-it-happen mindset.

Work Ethic - requires diligence, hard work, and self-discipline. This means you have a definitive plan of action and you work it consistently.

Positive Mindset is a process not event! You have to be mentally tough!

  • Every day, we have a choice about our attitude
  • Every day, be prepared to play and win

Perseverance is continued and patient effort.

  • Commitment & Accountability
  • Power of a business partner, coach


2 - Know Your WHY & Your Business Purpose

Are you truly passionate for your business – what you do?

Do you know your WHY? What is your big WHY – your Purpose?

When you discover with complete clarity your WHY, then you have uncovered the absolute secret to success for your life and business.

You are at your best when your heart (passion) and mind (attitude) are in alignment and connected with your true path and purpose. This is true in your personal life as well as with your business. When they aren’t aligned, there is always a degree of dissatisfaction and unrest.

Article - 12 Signs that Your Are Living Your Passion – Your Life Purpose

  • What you are doing does not feel like “work”. It brings joy and a true sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  • By the way, it’s never really about the money. It’s about what the money will allow you to do, what it will bring to your life and for your family.

Develop your Unique Value Proposition & Brand

  • Who is your perfect client?
  • What is their challenge or issue and how do you provide a solution?

Unique Value Proposition - (UVP)

  • Who are you? What makes you unique?
  • What do you do?
  • How do you do it?

Example: About WBNL Coaching


3 - Have a Plan then Take Action

Know Your Desired Outcomes.

Identify your target markets - we recommend the rule of 3

  • For us it is Teams, Small Brokers and Coachable Seasoned Agents

Have a Budget and Profit & Loss statement

  • Reality check when you start a business and don’t have major marketing & advertising dollars to invest
  • Most small businesses take 2-5 years to show a real profit (after all expenses including salaries)
  • Track and update your income and expenses monthly

Commit to a written Business Plan with clearly defined, vibrant goals.

Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.

  • S    Specific; Simple
  • M   Measurable; Meaningful to You
  • A    As if Now; Achievable; All areas of your life
  • R    Realistic; Responsible
  • T    Timeframe; Toward What You Want

Be willing to do what it takes to accomplish your outcomes.  Be consistent in your actions and build the positive habits. Practice leads to mastery.

Small Steps
Any movement or action, no matter how small, toward what you desire is all it takes to build momentum and achieve results.

Focus on what you want (not on what you don't want). Create a Success Action Plan that outlines the action steps (tasks and habits) to move you toward your desired outcome.

Daily / Weekly Success Action Plan – 3-5 best, consistent actions to drive your business forward or generate new business

  • Connecting with past clients
  • Generating new business
  • Consistent Lead Follow-up


4 - Create Business Systems and an Operations Manual

What are the key business systems?

  • Business Plan & Goals
  • Database Management & Referrals
  • Lead Generation, Sales & Marketing
  • Client Service Pre, During and Post Sale
  • Financial Management & Operations

For Real Estate Agents, Teams and Brokers:

  • Listing System
  • Buyer Sales System
  • Recruiting & Growth
  • Retention, Training, Coaching

Operations Manual - Why you need one

  • Written procedures for the primary pillars of your business operation will provide consistency, efficiency
  • Reflection of your expectations and standards
  • Create checklists, job descriptions and training document
  • Key asset for your eventual Exit Strategy
  • Build it as you go
    • Leverage your admin staff if you have it


5 - Build A Referral-Based Business

Clients First Mentality

  • Make a commitment to always take care of your clients’ needs first.
  • Honesty, integrity and professionalism are non-negotiable traits.
  • Fast customer service response time – go the extra mile

Client Relationship Management System

  • Use a great software system to help you automate tasks and remind you of key tasks, calls
  • Lion Desk, Top Producer
  • Email Marketing – Aweber, Constant contact, Mail chimp
  • Client Appreciation Program
  • Ask for Client Reviews/Recommendations on the key review and ratings sites
    • Yelp, FB Business, LinkedIn, Google business
    • RE – Zillow, Realtor and


6 - Implement a Solid Sales & Marketing Plan

“Customer service is your job, but sales & marketing is your business.“ – Brian Buffini

If you don’t have considerable dollars to invest initially in your business, you must be prepared to survive

  • 3-6 months Reserves in the bank
  • Other income sources 

You must be willing to prospect and attract new business in ways that don’t cost

  • Making Phone Calls
  • Leveraging LinkedIn
  • Networking
  • Advertising – Online & Offline

How to Reduce Your Liability as a Real Estate Agent

Do you have a risk reduction plan for your real estate business?  In this post, we outline 12 strategies or best practices to consider adopting to reduce your liability and help manage the risk of potential litigation as well as complaints filed with the state real estate licensing entity or your local REALTOR Association.

  1. Develop and use standard procedures with everyone.  Review fair housing rules and treat all prospects, customers and clients honestly, fairly and equally.
  2. Keep a communication log during your transaction.  Record your notes, conversations, milestones.  If red flags are raised during the transaction or you encounter challenges, it is particularly important to record the pertinent facts and events.  If you are using a paperless transaction management system, scan and upload all of your notes, emails and correspondence for your transactions.
  3. Use email to confirm conversations, verbal agreements, proof of delivering copies of contracts and addenda.  If your clients don’t use email, then mail copies of all the contracts and documents they sign via certified or registered mail or us an overnight service like Fedex.
    Note: If you and your client prefer communicating via text, make sure to take a screen capture of important texts regarding the transaction. Or better yet, follow-up the text with an email to document the notification or important communication.
  4. Keep a record of your transaction including all paperwork, emails and correspondence. Create a file on your computer (or use a cloud-based program like Dropbox or Evernote) and a folder in your email program to organize your correspondence and documents.  Archive your closed transactions (including your emails and other correspondence) and store them in your transaction management system, Dropbox, Evernote, and/or a backup drive.
  5. Rule of 3 – always recommend three vendors, contractors, attorneys, lenders, home inspectors, home warranty companies, etc.  Consider creating a disclosure with the companies and service providers you recommend and having your clients sign and acknowledge the choices you presented.
  6. Always recommend and explain the benefits of a home inspection and a home warranty to your clients.  Get a written waiver if they choose not to.
  7. Disclose…Don’t Diagnose.  Be the source of the source.  Stay within the boundaries of your area of expertise (real estate contracts, sales and marketing). Leave the analysis and diagnosis of any potential defect, issue or concern to the appropriate expert or contractor.
  8. Educate & set the proper expectations with your clients and customers. For example:
    • Explain the entire short sale process; pros and cons of purchasing a short sale
    • Review earnest money and what happens with a cancelled sale
    • Conduct a seller and buyer interview/qualification with all clients
  9. When working with buyers, make sure your buyer is ready, willing and able to purchase.  If getting a loan, have they started the approval process with a lender?  If they are a cash buyer, do they have proof of funds?
  10. When working with sellers, ensure they are ready, willing and able to sell.  Conduct a thorough consultation prior to listing to ensure they are motivated to sell and realistic in pricing the property. With short sale sellers, ensure you have the sellers complete the short sale packet and all documentation before you list the property.
  11. Use a transaction checklist or action plan to stay on top of all the tasks and procedures in a real estate transaction from initial contact to the successful closing of escrow.  Include any due diligence and contingency deadlines.
  12. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate… often and with all parties to the transaction!  Return phone calls and emails promptly.

Are you ready for personalized 1-1 coaching with Jan O'Brien? That is one of the many benefits at IRES.
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