Entrepreneurial Operating System: What Is It? And How to Use It to Scale Your Real Estate Business

Team Management
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The days of running a real estate business by the seat of your pants are dead. Today, the best real estate leaders out there draw on a range of technologies, systems, and leadership philosophies to drive business forward. 

One such system, the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS)® created by Gino Wickman, is getting a lot of attention from brokers and team leaders looking to scale their business faster and with fewer headaches. 

EOS and its Traction series of books are designed for entrepreneurs with ten all the way up to 250 employees who are looking for a practical approach to some of the most common business-scaling obstacles, including:

  • Recruiting and retaining the right people for the right roles
  • Building a culture of accountability
  • Making meetings more productive
  • Getting control of team performance 

Sounds pretty awesome, right? If you’re curious about what EOS is, how it works, and whether it’s a good model for your team, you’re in the right place!

Table of contents

  • What is the Entrepreneurial Operating System?
  • Running on EOS: A blueprint to taking your real estate business to the next level
  • Establishing a vision everyone can buy into 
  • Setting goals in EOS: SMART Rocks
  • The right people in the right seats: Inside the EOS People Analyzer™
  • A cure for meeting fatigue: The Level 10 Meeting™
  • Leading with data: How EOS helps you measure your real estate team’s success

What is the Entrepreneurial Operating System?

From the sound of it, you might think EOS is a software program or even hardware. 

But despite its techie-sounding acronym, the Entrepreneurial Operating System is simply a systematic approach to planning, managing and growing your business using a set of proven tools and templates from EOS Worldwide®. 

EOS Worldwide can also connect business owners with certified coaches called ‘Implementers’ to help train team leaders and managers and assist with adopting the system company-wide

“Vision without traction is merely hallucination.”
Gino Wickman, Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

Running on EOS: A blueprint to taking your real estate business to the next level

“I'm really digging in hard on the EOS stuff. It really opened up my eyes to how an organization can successfully run. We were definitely winging it.”

Those words are from leading New England broker Steven Rovithis, owner of ROVI Homes. Despite having a highly successful team spanning multiple states, Steven was tired of “winging it.”

Everything changed the day he discovered the book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.

The book unpacks the EOS model, including its six core components:

  1. Vision: Establishing what your company stands for, setting goals and targets, and getting everyone on the same page. 
  2. People: Putting the right people in the right roles.
  3. Data: Using objective metrics to measure performance.
  4. Issues: Identifying and resolving problems and opportunities.
  5. Process: Creating standardized methods and accountabilities for tasks.
  6. Traction: Developing leadership and management for executing on goals.

The EOS system comes complete with an app, templates, worksheets, videos, ebooks, its own software, and many other tools designed to help entrepreneurs put these components into everyday practice.

Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Establishing a vision everyone can buy into 

Your team’s vision is your core reason for being.

For companies that run on EOS, this includes your long- and short-term goals, company values, marketing strategy, and even your ‘issues’ (in EOS terms, these are the things stopping you from attaining your goals).

The idea is to clarify and quantify your goals, strategies and issues so team members can uncover and resolve problems, make better decisions, and work together more efficiently.

There’s even a vision worksheet to help you get it all down in black and white.

Clarifying your vision: The EOS Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO)™ 

As a real estate leader, you know where you want to take the business.

Problem is, it’s not always easy to define and communicate those ideas in a way that gets the rest of the team motivated.

EOS helps get your vision out into the open so everyone can clearly see and understand it. And it all starts with these eight questions:

  1. What are your core values? The three to seven principles that guide your team culture and expectations.
  2. What is your core focus? When you strip away the many distractions that fill your workday, what are the reasons you’re in business?
  3. What is your 10-year target? The long-term goals that will guide your shorter-term goals.
  4. What is your marketing strategy? Who is your customer? What sets you apart from the competition? How do you deliver your services?
  5. What is your three-year goal? How do you expect your company to look three years down the line? 
  6. What is your one-year plan? Choose three to seven goals to focus on each year.
  7. What are your Rocks? The top three to seven things you want to accomplish in the current quarter.
  8. What are your Issues? Problems and opportunities you’d like to explore and resolve.

EOS recommends setting three to seven goals for each timeframe, including revenue projections, number of team members, and any other new opportunities on your radar.

Setting goals in EOS: SMART Rocks

You may want to be the highest-producing team in a year, or the biggest brokerage in the region in three years, but you’ll have a tough time achieving those goals if you don’t set out the steps you need to take in order to get there.

That’s where Rocks come in. 

Rocks are the goals you want to achieve each quarter. Typically, agents will set one to three Rocks and team leaders will have three to seven Rocks every 90 days.

To make sure your Rocks are achievable, you’ll need to make them SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

SMART Rocks should include:

  • A due date for completing the goal
  • A revenue target to objectively measure whether you’ve met your goal
  • A profit target to determine whether your process to meeting your goal is cost-effective
  • Other measurables such as number of clients served and marketing expenditures

The right people in the right seats: Inside the EOS People Analyzer™

You know you can’t accomplish your goals unless the right people are in the right seats, but hiring the right team members isn’t always easy. 

Fortunately, EOS gives you tools to identify and position your real estate team members to win.

Meet the People Analyzer. This handy tool helps determine whether potential hires are a good fit by evaluating how closely they represent your values.

An accountability chart lets you clearly define each team member’s responsibilities and structure your team based on their abilities. 

Using the accountability chart, you’ll be able to:

  • Decide whether your team members are in the right positions
  • Determine if you’ve got the structure you need in order to leverage the skills and abilities of the people on your team
  • Assess whether you need additional staffing to accomplish your goals.

A cure for meeting fatigue: The Level 10 Meeting™

Everyone holds meetings. After all, they’re essential for communicating information and getting everyone rowing in the same direction. 

But all too often, meeting attendees see them as a necessary evil, and in the worst-case scenario, a waste of time that could be better spent closing deals.

EOS combats meeting fatigue by providing templates for meeting agendas that actually yield measurable results.

The 90-minute Level 10 (L10) meeting agenda ensures your time in meetings is well spent. It includes reviews of the progress on long- and short-term goals and sets aside time for sharing updates and solving issues that may be getting in the way of meeting your Rocks. 

There’s even an issues solving portion of the meeting agenda with a three-step process that helps focus attention and facilitate problem solving. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Identify the three most important issues, determine what’s causing the problem, and prioritize each.
  2. Discuss possible solutions and develop an action plan.
  3. Solve by creating a to-do list from the action plan and assign responsibilities to execute the plan. 

This simple process, called IDS, makes it easy to break through the roadblocks and hit your quarterly Rocks. 

Plus, the process is super democratic. L10 meeting participants have the opportunity to grade meetings to help keep them as productive as possible.

Leading with data: How EOS helps you measure your real estate team’s success

It’s hard to know what to fix (or reward for that matter) without some clear yardsticks for what to expect.

One thing business owners love about EOS is that it puts a considerable focus on metrics to help team leaders create accountability, nurture commitment, instill competition, and move the business forward.

Among the tools EOS provides is a scorecard to help set down weekly metrics for each department and the company as a whole. This makes it easy to assess whether the team is on track and flag any potential problems while they can still be addressed.

The scorecard tracks the metric for each of three to five chosen performance categories against the target set and the team member responsible for meeting the target.

With the scorecard, team leaders can see the latest metrics and how they match up to the target set. When targets are missed, team members and managers can include them in their issues list for discussion and resolution at the next Level 10 meeting.

Gaining traction in your real estate business

Twice a year, team leaders and managers perform an organizational checkup, a run-through of 20 questions to determine whether the system is working and where improvements may be needed.

The EOS approach is designed so that managers can step off the treadmill of dealing with the same problems over and over again by clearly defining goals, identifying the steps to getting there, designing an action plan to make it happen, and creating accountability for getting it done.

You can also take your management game to the next level with resources like the EOS How to Be a Great Boss Toolkit and the books in the Traction series including Traction Assessment and Management

Whether you’re running your business on EOS or another business management method, a systematized lead management process is crucial to achieving consistent sales.

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