There’s nothing like the feeling of hitting your highest-earning month.
But with more success, comes more work. And the busier you get, the easier it is to let the important things fall through the cracks.
There are a handful of classic mistakes that end up costing agents a ton of leads just as they start to really get rolling in their business. Here’s what to look out for in order to keep yourself on track to 7-figure status.
Mistake #1 – Giving in to Overwhelm
Like most industries disrupted by technology, real estate is drowning in shiny new CRMs, marketing, and automation tools, all with a million and one features jammed in, and a million and two ideas about how to use those tools to boost your business.
So of course, one of the very first things agents do when they start to see an in increase in transaction volume is go out and splurge on the latest new tech toy.
Don’t get us wrong. We’re obviously big believers in productivity-driving technology, but too many agents rush into purchasing new systems and tools and forget all about the old-school stuff mega agents are made of.
At the end of the day, the process you follow will always matter more than the tools you use.
The rainmakers and rockstars all got where they are today by following a simple, effective process day after day, after day. And that’s also what keeps them from getting swallowed up by all the things they could or “should” be doing. It can take a long time to bounce back from burnout and if you let yourself get too distracted, apathetic or snowed under, your leads will definitely fall through the cracks.
Here are some easy ways to avoid burnout and keep growing:
Hard truth: There will always be agents who are better than you. And there will always be agents who aren’t as good as you are. Forget them both. Comparing your approach, your business and your wins to someone else’s is a surefire way to lose sight of what works for you.
The great thing about the real estate business is that there are a million ways to win. It never hurts to look around and see what other people are doing, but never lose focus on what winning means to you.
The term ‘analysis paralysis’ exists for a reason.
When you’re faced with an avalanche of choices and information, your brain literally gets overloaded, making it impossible to do the kind of creative, high-level thinking that will grow your business. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to do scale and grow. Accept that you will make mistakes and keep moving forward.
Get back to why
The idea of a ‘big why’ has become somewhat played-out in the entrepreneurial space, but as they say, cliches are cliches for a reason.
Real estate barons like Gary Keller and Dave Liniger have stayed connected to their initial reasons for getting into real estate as a way of leveraging growth, moving past their failures and staying determined on the path to growth.
Questions to think about:
- What are the core values that separate me from my competitors?
- What if the things I complained about in my business (e.g., too much work, too many leads, a jam-packed calendar, etc.) suddenly disappeared tomorrow?
- What are the 3 things that, if I did nothing else, would guarantee continued growth for my business?
Mistake #2 – Hiring the Wrong Person at the Wrong Time
This one goes hand-in-hand with number one.
The first thing we want to do when we feel overstretched and overwhelmed is reach out for help. And that’s not a bad instinct. The right people can help you scale much more quickly, and with way fewer headaches.
But be careful about what you hand off first.
Going straight to hiring a buyer agent might feel like the natural thing to do, but it’s a surefire way to lose a ton of leads. You must get your house in order before you can start building your rockstar real estate team. The last thing you want to do is invite another person into a home that’s a mess. There will be confusion, overlap and of course, lost leads.
And don’t waste time trying to get better at things that just aren’t in your wheelhouse. Remember the old Jack Welch quote? It applies here, too. Most rainmakers aren’t great at organization and admin, which is one of the many reasons why it’s important to make your admin your first hire.
A great real estate VA can help you achieve massive growth. They can help you organize your business workflows and help you get a rock solid lead management system in place, so that when you’re ready to hire more team members, no one ever has to hunt for the info they need.
The right person will be someone you can immediately trust to take on the time-sucking things you’re not great at and get you out of the burnout danger zone.
Questions to think about:
- How and where do I spend my time every day? You can use a spreadsheet or simple time-tracking app like Timely (review) or Toggl (review) to know for sure.
- Do I really need to be the one doing this? (Ask this one as you go through your daily tasks. What can be handed off?)
- When I come in for the day, do I always know immediately where my business stands and what I need to do to grow?
Mistake #3 – Focusing on the Wrong Leads
Another big mistakes solo agents make when they start to pick up steam in their real estate business is to splurge on bringing in more and more leads.
The time to invest in lead gen will come. But is that time really today?
Before you go out and blow your budget on paid leads, make sure you have fully optimized the free lead gen sources that have gotten you where you are today.
You must keep working your proven process before you can start experimenting with new things. Otherwise, you run the risk of letting tons of free leads and deals fall to the wayside.
Again, what works for you may or may not be what works for the next guy. For lead-conversion master Mitch Ribak, open houses are his timeless money-maker. For rainmakers like Ryan Graham and Justin Seeby, it’s working SOI, referrals and reviews.
According to Ryan, “More than 25% of our business can be linked either directly or indirectly to reviews. We started the review push over 3 years ago and in that time we’ve closed over $250M in sales. I’m comfortable saying that since we made reviews a fundamental part of our business, we’ve closed over $50M in sales as a result of this effort.”
And when we asked him what is his best tip for bringing in free leads?
“Commitment! Building an online review profile takes time and consistency. Making the process fun and rewarding is one of the best ways to keep yourself and your clients engaged in the process.”
You need a consistent, predictable lead source in order to have a consistent, predictable business. As you move into the role of team leader, leads are everything. But that doesn’t mean you should chase them down in every direction.
Here are some simple tips to help you focus on the right leads:
- Focus on your best 3 lead sources only
- Use a simple follow up calendar (there’s one here for lead callback and another here for SOIs and referrals)
- Follow a simple plan for list segmentation (e.g., New leads, Website, Past Clients, Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, Sellers, Buyers, etc.)
- Set up a simple drip email sequence to provide ongoing value to your leads
Mistake #4 – Falling Back into Bad Habits
This one is a business KILLER.
As you reach the next level in your real estate business you will be faced with a whole new set of daunting challenges.
As you’re forced to stretch your brain into tackling big meaty challenges like how to strategically grow your business, strengthen your leadership and sales mastery skills and get your business finances in order, some of those comfy old autopilot habits will start to look extremely appealing.
Now more than ever, you must resist the urge to coast.
Know that as you grow, all your old fears are going to come back to haunt you. This is where most agents trip. They lose sight of goals-setting, stop thinking about their numbers, let their finances go and fall back on weak routines.
But if you’re not facing new objections, challenges and problems, you’re not growing.
Have you been playing it safe? Get out there and pitch FSBOs. Try out a new strategy for maximizing your best lead sources. Do something that makes you feel excited about your business.
Here are some tips to help you keep your mind right:
Go back to the math
What is the number that makes you the most excited? Don’t worry about how you’ll get it or what you’ll have to do. Just think about the number. What would you do if you made X amount per month? What would you buy? Where would you travel? What causes would you support?
Celebrate past wins
Most of us have been conditioned to downplay our wins and obsess over our failures. That’s bull. Failures are NOT a big deal. They’re par for the course, just like eating, breathing and drinking water. Wins on the other hand, are absolutely amazing. If you can train your brain to make wins a much bigger deal than failures, building a real estate business will feel like a walk in the park. When was the last time you killed it? And the time before that? Write down as many past wins as you can remember and for bonus points do it somewhere private where no one can see you fist pump.
Focus on the little big things
If you get caught up in the pressure of keeping up, you will let your leads slip through the cracks. Remember that the little things that got you this far still matter. It’s all about the service you provide. What are the things you do better than anyone else? Your leads need that! Show up for them.
Mistake #5 – Poor Lead Management
As you scale, you will inevitably spend more and more time and money on lead gen.
Don’t let it go to waste.
You need all your info in one place. You have to know who you’re following up with, when to call, text, or email and what info to use in order to deliver a persuasive value-driven follow up.
Focus, consistency and mindset are the critical success factors for every winning real estate business. And they’re even more important when you’ve got a growing team.
When you’ve truly outgrown your homegrown system, start thinking about a real estate CRM that will keep your lead management process completely watertight. Because at every new level, there will always be brand new mistakes to make, but losing leads doesn’t have to be one of them.