Team leader to solo agent and having the best year yet

Geoff Goolsby, Owner of The Goolsby Group at Keller Williams
  • 3 years into going solo
  • Solo agent, 2 support staff
  • 10,000 person database
  • No more leads slipping through the cracks
  • “Best year ever” in real estate
  • Work / life balance

While many agents make the leap from solo agent to building a team, Geoff Goolsby took the opposite track. After spending six years building a real estate team with his cousin in Roseville, CA, Geoff realized that being a team leader just wasn’t his cup of tea.  

He decided to strike out on his own and start The Goolsby Group as a solo agent supported by an “all-in-one” admin and a showing assistant — and so far, it’s been a perfect fit.

The Challenge

Pivoting from team leader to solo agent

Before making the solo agent switch, Geoff and his cousin (also named Jeff) had built an impressive 12-person team that was #1 in their office and earning numerous accolades.

But it just wasn’t working. Neither of them felt passionate about growing the business and the awards weren’t translating into profit. More importantly, Geoff wasn’t sold on the leadership role: “I wasn’t the leader that I needed to be to run a big group. And I didn’t want to be.”

He still loved helping people buy and sell houses. But the extra pressure that comes with building and leading a big team? Not so much.

So they decided to “burn the ship,” and Geoff made the transition to solo agent with two supporting team members.

In the process, Geoff inherited a sizable database: “I have 10,000 people and so many opportunities in there,” he says.

But keeping track of all those opportunities and making sure nothing slips through the cracks takes some serious organization. That’s why Geoff relies on Follow Up Boss to keep everything in line.

“Follow Up Boss has been an amazing system,” he says.

“This year, I’m on track to have my best year ever in real estate."

The Solution

Getting big results with a small team

Geoff has a small (but mighty) support unit behind him at The Goolsby Group. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he and his two-person support team use the same systems and workflows that support much larger teams.

“I have an admin who does pretty much everything: transaction coordinating, client support, customer service, marketing, whatever other random things I need support with,” Geoff says. “She’s making sure that we're on track with serving our clients.”

“I have another employee, Laura, who is a licensed agent. And she's essentially a showing assistant,” he explains. “She shows up anywhere that I need to be and does the staging appointments, the photo shoots, etc. which helps free up my time.”

“That lets me focus on generating new opportunities and closing the deals,” he says. “And then from there, Laura is helping sellers do things that need to be done at their house. She's my boots on the ground so I don't have to then be at the house all the time.”

Playing to each person’s strengths
Geoff understands how important it is for everyone to be doing what they’re best at, and what they actually like.

“I realized that I don't really love necessarily working with buyers all that much,” he shares, “It just doesn’t get me going. But Laura? Everybody loves her. She has this huge heart and she gets the warm fuzzies doing that stuff.”

By playing to their strengths, the Goolsby Group team can serve their clients more effectively.

And the parallels with successful large teams don’t stop there. Even with a small unit, Geoff pays close attention to his team’s well-being, helping his teammates stay inspired and motivated.

“We're doing a morning huddle, just connecting with each other on a team level talking about what we're grateful for, what a big win was from yesterday, and how to crush today — even though we all have very different roles,” he says.

Tracking the numbers that matter
Many real estate teams use whiteboards on the wall, but Geoff prefers to leverage technology.

Even though he’s scaled back on lead volume, he knows the value of keeping all his numbers right in front of him. “I use Follow Up Boss to track my calls that I'm making and the lead flow that I have,” he says.

He also uses CTE, a real estate tracking system, to track actives, pendings, and closings.

“I use CTE as higher level analytics to see the deals and the commissions, and Laura logs her calls both in Follow Up Boss and in CTE too,” Geoff says. This allows the whole team to monitor call and appointment ratios.

Geoff makes a point of keeping the data actionable while connecting the numbers with his business goals.

“My business plan is on the wall so I can see where I’m at, am I on target to reach my goal this month?” he says.

Optimizing his time
As a solo agent, time is an especially limited resource, which means Geoff needs tools that help him focus his efforts to get the best results.

“I’m always looking for opportunities in my database,” he says. “I try to really just pick the good ones.”

Follow Up Boss makes the process of sifting through his database go even faster as Smart Lists provide an automated way for Geoff and his team to identify the highest-value prospects and prioritize follow up.

The Results

Creating success that’s truly satisfying

Before dissolving his previous team and partnership, Geoff wasn’t sure he was making the right choice. “I poured a lot of energy and invested a lot of money and time and effort into building that business,” he recalls.

So two years into the solo game, how are things going?

“This year, I’m on track to have my best year ever in real estate, which is crazy,” he says. “I’m really excited and proud, but also just humbled by the amount of work that we’ve done with everything that’s happening in the world.”

Geoff is already actively putting systems in place that can allow his real estate business to scale effortlessly. “Actually at this point in time eight years later, I might actually be ready to ramp back up into something more.”

He’s also gained a whole new level of flexibility since he decided to go solo.

“Because I have a little bit more flexibility in how I spend my time, I've been spending a lot more time in the community,” Geoff says, “I'm involved with a School District Foundation Board. They’ve been raising about $50k a year and helping 10,000 students in the district, and my big goal is to get them up to $500k.”

More than anything, Geoff has come to realize the value (both personally and financially) of doing what feels right.

“If your heart’s not in 100%, now might be the time that you dive into something new, or it might be the time that you pivot and go in the direction that you really, really want to go,” he says.

The satisfaction at the end of that process is worth it — and for Geoff, it shows. “I think people that I work with, they feel how much more energetic and happy I am just in general,” he says. “It feels good. So if you’re in a similar position…just go, just do you.”

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