5 expert tips to make more money in 2024

Mindset & Motivation
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In a world where everyone is scrambling for the same clients and fighting tooth and nail for their commission, it's time to shake things up with a fresh, forward-thinking approach. And often, that means going back to basics.

Because at the end of the day, it's not just about the money. 

It's the culture, connection, and commitment to excellence that wins the sales. And that’s a fact in any market. In this article, we dive deep into five expert tips to help you make more money as a real estate agent or team. 

1. Treat clients and agents the way you want to be treated

Laurie Finkelstein Reader, CEO of the Laurie Finkelstein Reader Team in South Florida, is a second generation agent, mom of two, and grandmother with an epic social media presence.

She also happens to be a big believer in operationalizing people over profits.

And one of the best ways to do that? “Make sure your culture is intact and that your people are delivering the same level of service,” says Laurie.

“You have to be really connected, not so much to the money, but to your reputation, to what you believe in, to who you are. The money always comes. The money is the easy part.”

With decades of experience behind her, Laurie knows the real estate journey can signal a happy, or not-so-happy, time in a person’s life. And with a 100-person team, she treats every agent with the same care and respect her clients have come to expect.

“For most people, it's money first and then relationship. We are relationship first and then money,” says Laurie.

To ensure everyone on the team is upholding the same high standards, Laurie uses the following questions to check in:

  • Do agents and clients feel included? 
  • Do they feel a part of the team and process? 
  • Do they feel equal?

For Laurie, clearly defined standards are the only way to scale. “I let the standard manage expectations in terms of any agent working with a buyer or a seller,” says Laurie. “The standards cannot have a wiggle wobble.”

But Laurie's high standards for customer experience aren’t just for holding agents accountable — they also guide the team’s commitment to their wider community through charity events like the team’s annual backpack drive.

It’s a people-first philosophy that has successfully led them to reach nearly 8,000 families served and $3 billion in sales.

Hear Laurie discuss the importance of clear and defined standards.


2. Move your best leads to the top of the list

Who here is a fan of professor Barry Jenkins? 🙋🏼‍♀️

As the high-impact owner of Virginia-based team Your Friends in Real Estate, Barry is a big believer in the power of adapting your business workflows to meet prospects where they are.

“With the shift…we noticed there were less people that were able to buy in our market. It wasn’t significantly less, but it was enough to where we felt it,” he explains.

Rather than relying on the same old workflows, Barry set up his real estate CRM to include a custom field where Ylopo automatically sends a contact’s average buying price based on their search behavior.

“We were trying to filter the ‘no’s’ as much as possible. And the other thing we were trying to do is keep agents motivated to stay focused and keep their eyes on the prize.”

To help agents focus on the leads most likely to convert, Barry created customized Smart Lists with the top 20 to 30 qualified buyers for agents to prioritize.

“We decided that if it's below $200,000, we will keep the contact off the list because what we found was there weren't enough homes in that price range and credit could also be an issue,” says Barry. 

And he didn’t stop there. With custom filters for recent activity and other key data points, Barry was able to free up more time for agents to engage creatively with a highly targeted list of potential buyers. “Instead of having 30 people per list, we had more like eight to ten and these eight to ten are searching above a certain price,” he explains.

He uses the following Smart Lists to keep the conversations (and deals) flowing:

  • ISA Appointment Set - these are the prospects agents are already actively working with
  • Website Active - leads agents haven’t spoken to in over a week but who have recently changed stage or become active on the website
  • Waiting For Response - leads that responded in the last 24 hours and have not yet received a response back

By setting up minimum thresholds and done-for-you Smart Lists to help agents focus their efforts, Barry and his team are saving a ton of time — without sacrificing sales.

“Our time was better spent on people that were well-qualified buyers. If you think about your day, you sit down as an agent and you've got a long list of 30 people. In some ways, that’s almost easier than saying, ‘Alright, I've got 10 people. How can I be creative and engage in a  relevant way with these 10 people?’” he explains.

Despite the shift in their local market, Barry and the team are using their freshly tweaked workflows to deliver the right touches to the right people. And the result is revenue he can count on. “We’re just as steady as ever,” says Barry.

Check out Barry's Smart List setup for agents and ISAs.

3. Put the right agents on the right leads

Market shifts can impact even the largest of real estate teams. Don’t believe us? 

Just ask Lauren Bowen. As the Chief Operating Officer for Florida-based mega team Robert Slack LLC, Lauren manages a whopping 16 lead sources for 800 agents.

“Last year we started to see the market starting to shift in ways we hadn’t seen in a long time. A lot of people forgot that a market could actually turn down,” says Lauren. 

While other teams decided to wait it out, she and CEO Dan Walters made an important 3 a.m. judgment call: it was time to double down.

For Lauren, that meant putting the right agents on the right leads to maintain target conversion rates while rapidly scaling lead volume.

“Some agents excel on different types of lead sources. It is not one size fits all."

With a massive increase in lead sources, Lauren knew she would need to rethink her approach to keeping agents focused.

“When you have 15 lead sources, it's very overwhelming. Imagine being an agent knowing there are 15 lead sources out there. You’re thinking about questions like, ‘Which one integrates? Which one has a different portal that I have to log into? Which one is run by my team leader? Which one is run by me?” Lauren explains.

She quickly evolved her responsibilities so that she could spend more time finding new ways to take lower-impact tasks off agents’ plates. 

“I had to take some of that burden off the agents. I needed them to remain focused on how to get from contract to close and how to make it the best experience for their buyer or seller as possible,” she says.

Here’s how Lauren maintains conversions across a large team and volume of leads:

  • Specific training for each lead source - everyone, including team leaders, takes an active role in lead-specific training
  • Clear plan for putting agents on new lead sources - Lauren has a detailed process for understanding when an agent is ready to take on a new lead source based on their conversion track record
  • VA reporting support - a rockstar team of VAs log all follow up activities in the team’s key reporting dashboards and nudge agents where relevant to make sure they’re taking the right actions
  • Automated reminders - automated notes help remind agents about specific tools for listing appointments and more to help them know exactly what to do next to keep the process moving

For Lauren, the big question is always: “How do you keep that day-to-day understanding of what the agent is going through?”

Through a combination of proactive training, streamlined lead management systems, and a healthy dose of empathy, she and the team continue hitting the gas on growth — even in a down market.

Hear how Robert Slack LLC sets up their business to make agents' lives easier.

4. Use your prospect’s preferred communication method

Travis Halverson is an ISA with an epic amount of experience.

Travis coaches and consults with Cheplak Digital and EZ Home Search. He also spent years in ISA leadership roles with Keller Williams Oak and Ocean Group and the Anderson Hicks Group.

No matter the market, Travis stays focused on two key things: motivation and timeframe

“The first person that can make a connection, whether it’s through phone call, email, text message…the person that can get off the surface level of just one or two text messages deep, that can really get to understand their motivation — they’re much more likely to use that agent, team or brand,” he explains.

Travis coaches agents to improve their response times in the following three areas in order to close more deals:

  1. Speed to lead: No matter where a lead comes from, an automated email or message immediately goes out.
  2. Speed to response: After giving the lead 5 minutes to respond to the initial automated contact, Travis recommends picking up the phone.
  3. Speed to relationship: The key question here is: How fast can you get to a real conversation? The goal is to get under the surface and make a genuine connection quickly.

To ensure success at every step, Travis recommends putting a prospect's “wins” front and center — that is their: Wants, Interests and Needs.

For him, this means that from the very first automated text message, he’s asking the prospect for their preferred communication method. From there, he knows exactly how to structure future follow ups.

“It’s like finding your love language with a client. Everybody has their own way of communicating with people and I want to make sure they communicate the way they want to do it.”

For Travis, success isn’t sending out a high volume of texts and getting a high volume of responses back. He believes it should take no more than 30 seconds to respond one-to-one to any lead who engages in a conversation.

“When you're responding to lead number 800 and it's three days later, that’s silly. You want to do things with intention,” he explains. He’s seen time and time again how, with an intentional approach to lead engagement, the money always follows.

“Ultimately, any good agent that gets a client with good, meaningful motivation to do this within 90 days, will walk that lead down,” he says.

Hear Travis on speed to relationship and the importance of connecting deeper than surface level before anyone else.

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5. Pour into your people

Katie Day was thrown into the real estate business headfirst. Not as an agent, but as a property manager.

“I don't know how someone would give a 21 year old little me that much responsibility but it gave me a lot of leadership experiences,” explains Katie in a recent episode of Real Estate Team OS

Having tough conversations with folks ten, twenty or thirty years her senior has helped Katie learn to communicate effectively with all types of people. It’s one of the many traits that has served her well in her current role as Team Leader of the Houston-based MOVEMETOTX team.

But that doesn’t mean the leap from solo agent to team leader was a walk in the park.

When Katie finally decided it was time to start building a team, she was careful to avoid the mistakes of those who came before her.

“We were at a crossroads where it was like, do we dig in and scale to 30 or 50 and build out the infrastructure? Or do we pour into the people that we have? We knew we could probably make the same amount of money with eight agents as opposed to 30.”

Instead of going big, she decided to focus on building a small but mighty “SEAL team” of agents all moving in the same direction.

“What a lot of people run into is they'll scale the team, but they haven't yet scaled the leads or the support. So you have all these agents come and you promised them the world, but then you don't actually have these things and so they leave. It’s a losing battle,” she explains.

Here are a few of the ways Katie keeps her team invested in a shared culture:

  • Defined team values - including what they do and don't want in a team
  • Three week training program - agents get hands-on sales, marketing, and ops training and an opportunity to learn how the team does things from A to Z.
  • Clear goals - after the training, Katie focuses on getting agents to their first opportunity within three weeks and their first contract within 30 to 60 days

With a clear, culture-first approach to running and growing her team, Katie’s ready to face any market head-on. 

“In real estate, things are constantly changing and evolving. Interest rates go up, they go down. We have lots of things happening that impact the real estate world. It's important for all team members to be able to adapt to changing priorities,” she says.

Hear Katie on organizing your training into sales, marketing, and operations for early sales wins.

Grow your sales your way

From embracing a people-first philosophy, to restructuring your follow up workflows and creating a clear blueprint for agent onboarding, dominating your market is about making a real impact on prospects, clients, and team members.

When you’re ready to prioritize relationships, uphold high standards, and make a real difference in the lives of clients and communities, Follow Up Boss can help.

Sign up now for your free 14-day trial and start growing your sales.

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