Don't Skip These Takeaways From the YPN June Breakfast: Scaling Your Business | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

On Wednesday, June 30, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast virtually through Zoom. Even though our get-togethers at Manny’s Deli were put on hold, we couldn’t wait to devour advice from local industry experts. You can stay up-to-date on upcoming YPN virtual events by following the YPN Facebook page!

THIS MONTH’S SPEAKERS:

WATCH THE ZOOM WEBINAR RECORDING:

 

READ SOME KEY TAKEAWAYS:

As Nick aptly said when we wrapped up this morning, “There’s no right or wrong answer for this. I’ve been a solo agent and also was a hands-off team lead. I have settled somewhere that’s a hybrid. As you scale your business, experiment and don’t be afraid to fail forward!”

How are you providing a stand-out experience for your clients?

A majority of Paul’s leads come from referrals from his network. However, he keeps earning those referrals by concentrating his efforts on providing a stand-out experience for his clients.

Through active communication, thank you messages, gifts for referrals or business, personalized touches to the transaction process and beyond, his business has doubled year over year through his dedication. How are you providing a great experience?

Paul also breaks down his productivity and his goals through daily, weekly, monthly and annual actions. If his goal for the year is to get higher in volume than the year before, he thinks about what he needs to do to hit it. For each agent, these activities may be different, but his tends to include some advertising and farming, phone follow-ups with past clients and tracking potential business in a spreadsheet and reaching out to them.

He is communicating, communicating, communicating.

How Often Are You Communicating?

Emily’s team follows a system they call “three weeks of love” for their listings with a similar system for the buyer side. Once a listing goes up — for them it is Wednesdays — the next day (Thursday), a specific email will go out. This is followed by a standard email on Friday (two days after listing). Then, the following Monday, they reach out to their seller about XYZ.

“Those first few weeks on the market are the absolute most crucial time for you to demonstrate your value to your seller clients,” she said.

Even before a lead may be converted to a seller client, high communication is part of the team’s lead generation system too. “Each of our team members is expected to lead generate on their own, and we follow the 33 touch system.”

Like Paul, her team’s business is established and networked enough where a big majority of leads comes from client referrals or other agent referrals. Yet, this doesn’t mean they’re taking those for granted or ignoring these contacts when they add them to their database.

Through these consistent, communications-based systems, Paul and Emily’s businesses have managed to scale to even greater volume and unit amounts every year!

Track & Measure Your Success. You’ll Thank Yourself Later.

Emily Phair and her fellow team lead Kevin Kinton started their team in 2017. She had been in real estate for almost eight years by then and had “team hopped” around quite a bit.

“Early on, we didn’t truly track our numbers, and I wish we did,” she admitted. “Now we track our spend and revenue so we know exactly what we’ll need and what we’ll bring in. I wish I accelerated that tracking process much earlier so there would’ve been less wondering and less fear. Do it! This tracking allows us to plan for hiring and scaling our business in the future.”

As a self-proclaimed systems junkie, everything for their team has a system. Establishing a consistent process allows their listing manager to handle a greater volume of properties. Everything is tracked, measured and follows the process accordingly.

Paul’s tracking comes down to his database and staying on top of his network. Since he grew up in Chicago, he cultivated a natural client base and concentrated on staying top of mind as his friends and family grew through their own milestones.

“I helped a lot of people buy their first homes as they moved back to Chicago,” he said. “As they scaled up to bigger homes over time, I was there to help them with that transaction too. My volume has grown with this.”

Paul sets his goals based on volume, and, as we mentioned above, he is closely keyed into what activities he needs to complete in a day, a week a month and beyond to hit those volume-based goals. By staying in tune with what he is actively doing and actively producing, he’s looking at how his business is scaling and what he can reasonably take on himself.

Don’t Make Your First Hire Until You’ve Written These Lists

Ready to hire? Hire with confidence once you’ve made these lists.

“Kevin and I made a list of all things we didn’t want to do,” Emily said. “That in itself created a job description for our admin. Then, we made a list of what we stink at. Our hires help fill in those gaps.” For example, Kevin enjoys the financial side of the business like payroll and budgeting, so they didn’t look for a team member to take on those duties.

Paul leans on the services provided through his brokerage to connect with additional support for marketing creative, open houses and showings.

“If you don’t have an assistant, you are one,” he advises. “I’m doing a lot of the admin work myself like writing up my own contracts and putting my client info into the system myself.” For now, he’s happy to keep the machine running solo. “Though I do know that once I hire an assistant, I’ll wonder how I ever operated without one!” he joked.

Between listing or buyer presentations, consultations, showings, open houses, inspections, final walkthroughs, client parties and simple errands like dropping off lockboxes, your time is in high demand! Make sure you’re treating it like the valuable commodity it is. If you’re not sure what you’re supposed to be physically present for, go back to those lists. What do you not want to do? What isn’t your strength? What can you no longer handle yourself? This may be a great indication of where to scale to your next hire.