How and When to Scale Your Business for Long-Term Success
We all have an inner control freak.
Sometimes it’s a good thing as it keeps us from making colossal mistakes in life.
It’s especially helpful at the beginning of your real estate career when you only have a few deals and you’re learning the ins and outs of how to manage a real estate transaction.
That said, there comes a point where you need to delegate the non-dollar productive activities and jobs associated with running your real estate business so you can scale it...giving yourself the opportunity to grow your business faster, deeper and wider.
Continuing to process transactions, put listings on the MLS, stick signs in the ground or do anything that you don’t impact the outcome of is only going to keep you from building true wealth in your real estate business.
You know this and you’re likely ready to get these jobs off your plate and into the capable hands of strong team member.
But, before you drop everything you’re doing and delegate these jobs at the wrong time to the wrong people, you need to know this: there’s a right time to do them and a right order in which to get them done.
Here’s a detailed look at how and when to scale your business for long-term success.
Let’s take a look at the process, one step at a time:
Likely, you wouldn’t be too upset if you didn’t have to put another listing on the MLS or process a transaction from contract acceptance to close.
The tasks associated with these jobs are worth about $10 to $15 an hour.
With no disrespect intended to the good people who do this work every day, administrative activities are not paid at the same rate as that of an expert real estate agent.
Now, when it comes time to start delegating jobs, most real estate agents think: “Hire a buyer’s agent!”
At first, it seems to make sense...no more shuttling buyers around....money coming in without your efforts...more time to yourself.
When you look a little deeper, though, it’s not the best choice.
In addition to spending more time to work with, manage and train your buyer agents than you would in dealing with buyers yourself, you’re taking a 50% haircut on each deal.
You put in more effort and get less money.
Plus, your own production takes a huge hit because you don’t have as much time to do your own deals.
It’s a pretty big kick in the pants for sure.
All of that said, if you’re selling two to three houses per month, your best first hire is an administrative assistant.
When you fill this position first, it removes the non-dollar productive activities from your hands so you can focus on things that make bring in revenue.
What’s even better is that you can hire someone for more competitive hourly rate than the $500 to $1,000 (or more) you’d earn when you’re working with sellers and buyers.
If you have no control over the outcome, then you need to delegate it.
In addition to that, you’ll have someone doing that work whose personality and skills are far more in line with the work required of these positions, which means the jobs get done well and on time without your effort.
Most importantly, you now have a person on staff who is reliable and can help you further systematize your business so it runs smoothly, giving you the opportunity to delegate even more jobs in the future.
Inside Sales Agent ( ISA )
The next best hire is to bring on an ISA.
You may be thinking buyer’s agent next, but the ISA is really you next move.
Remember, your goal is to free yourself up to do more dollar productive activities.
At the same time, when you’re ready to hire a buyer’s agent, you’ll have much more time to commit to helping that person be successful without cannibalizing your own production.
And for what it’s worth, prospecting falls in same category as administrative work...you just don’t want to do it.
Certainly, hiring an ISA is truly your next best hire.
Now that you have an administrative assistant, you’ll have the time to bring on and train a top-notch ISA who can ramp up your listing business without you having to prospect.
An ISA helps provide ongoing, high-quality seller lead generation as well as a consistent pipeline of solid listing appointments - all without your efforts.
In addition to that, next to sales, inside sales is one of the most important activities for a successful sales organization.
In the end, though, ISA activities are only $30 to $40 an hour work, versus the hundreds or thousands of dollars an hour that you get working your magic at the kitchen table.
Seeing this, it’s clear that you shouldn’t keep prospecting when you can hire a skilled salesperson to do the job just as well (if not better than) as you can.
Last, but not least, the buyer’s agent
Once you have your administrative assistant and ISA in place, hiring a buyer agent is the next hire to make in building a successful real estate team.
From my perspective, it’s entirely reasonable for you to consider hiring another administrative assistant for your team.
And, if your business is producing consistently with some solid listing business, it might be the right choice to make at this point.
That said, hiring a buyer’s agent wouldn’t be a bad choice for your business at this time.
You see, at this point, all of the paperwork and customer service is being handled properly and your production is strong because you’ve got a rock star Inside Sales Agent filling your pipeline with qualified seller leads and appointments.
As a result of that, you have the time and cushion you need to hire a buyer agent to build some additional leverage and income in your business.
Ideally, if you’re hiring buyer agents for the first time, you should hire two.
Hiring two make sense because it will take you the same time two train two as it does one. Plus, if one of the buyer agents doesn’t make it, you still have a second one who can produce for you.
With good buyers agents in place, you’ll free yourself of all buyer[related activities so you can spend more time working on your business.
Plus, with buyers agents on your team, you get to do more of what you like - personally and professionally - and less of what you don’t.
Once you’ve solidified your business with this core group of people and business is humming along smoothly, you can consider bringing on other team members such as:
- A courier who can run around town, get things picked up and delivered and free up time for everyone on your team.
- A second administrative assistant to give you the power of having a full-time closing coordinator and listing manager.
- A full-time listing partner who can ramp up your listing business or even take over the job of listing homes altogether.
- A full-time office manager who can manage the office so you can be the true CEO of your team and build it as deep and as wide as you’d like.
As with all aspects of the building a real estate team, there is a right order in which you should bring people onto your team for the purpose of delegating activities. The process dictates that you first look at your resources of time, energy and money and then make sound choices for yourself and the people you bring onto your team.
Follow what I’ve laid out here and you can delegate the right activities in the right order to the right people to have amazing success in your business.