Why are you in business? It’s an important question. Perhaps the ultimate question! A mentor of mine taught me a long time ago that knowing “why” is one of the most important things when it comes to getting positive results long term in your business.
- Are you in business to make money?
- Are you in business to help people?
- Are you passionate about working with people one-on-one?
- Is your priority simply doing something you love and having control over your schedule?
- Is real estate your passion…do you just love being in and around property?
These, of course, are just a few of many possible answers, but you get the idea. This post is about using leverage to sell more and take your business to the next level, and knowing the answer to WHY you’re in business in the first place is a key element in knowing how to implement leverage. Here is a question that illustrates the power of leverage:
Which Would You Choose: $250 or $5000?
This is a question I had to answer for myself a few years ago, and I went with $250. Think I’m crazy? Read on…
Since then, my business has been completely different, in very good ways. This may seem counter-intuitive on the surface, and I will admit it represented a very new way of thinking for me at the time. But in retrospect, it’s uber-simple.
By learning to look at my business in a completely different way, I’ve freed up a ton of my time and dramatically increased my income. I did it by employing leverage to sell more, and I encourage you to look at the possibilities of doing this as well!
I’m going to give you some key leverage opportunities that you may be overlooking in a minute, but for now, let me lay some groundwork on WHAT leverage is…and WHO should use it (it’s not for everyone).
An Example of Leverage: Why I Chose $250 over $5000
I personally do not have a passion for selling real estate. I don’t like showing homes. It bores me to tears! I love negotiating deals, and I love owning rental property, but I don’t particularly like hand-holding timid and jaded buyers through the buying process…that type of thing. In other words, I’m just not a great real estate agent!
This personal paradigm is one of many factors that led me into internet marketing. Internet marketing has taught me how to generate leads, and then I connect interested buyers and sellers with agents. And I earn a commission on closings. I still sell on occasion, but for the last 3 years, I’ve been doing internet marketing full time.
One of my friends in the business still doesn’t understand why I do it this way. He argues with me and says “Man, why do you refer a lead out and take just a few hundred bucks? Just sell it yourself and earn the whole commission!” He doesn’t seem to understand that time is limited! It’s about leverage!
If I refer a lead in 5 minutes and make $250, is that a WORSE deal than working with the client myself for 100 hours to make $5000? If you do the math you’ll find that the first scenario is about $3000 an hour, whereas the second scenario is about $50 an hour. See the difference?
Which one would YOU rather make…$250 or $5000? Which are you making NOW? Most real estate professionals are all about the $5000, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it has limitations. Many real estate professionals struggle with these limitations, and leverage is what gets you past them.
There are Huge Opportunities…Right in Front of You!
Going from $50 an hour to $3000 an hour…that’s leverage. But using leverage and identifying opportunities like this usually requires you to look at your business in a completely new way. It requires you to change some things and even take on a little risk. Are you in a position where you’re willing to take on the risk? Do you even want to?
If you’re perfectly happy in your business, then the truth is there is no need to change. But few people will have read this article to this point if they’re perfectly happy in their business! If you want to take your business to the next level, I encourage you to seriously look at the leveraging opportunities at your disposal. Believe me, there are plenty…especially for real estate professionals.
So Why are You in Business?
Many professionals believe that in order to provide value…in order to have things done right…they need to do things themselves. In some cases, this is true. In most cases, it’s not. In most cases, a lot can be delegated. Delegation is the route I’ve decided to go. I wouldn’t say what I do is perfect…far from it, and I’d hardly argue one path is right for everyone.
But I do know that a lot of real estate professionals are grinding out their days, wondering how to make more money…wondering why they’re not getting the sales results they want…wondering how to have more time with their kids. Things like that. And I know, for a fact, that there are answers.
How can you have more time? How can you make more money? How can you help more customers and clients? The answer is leverage!
Fair warning…using leverage MIGHT separate you from what you truly want to accomplish in your business. That’s why I started this post with the question “Why are you in business”? It really is important to know why. This post is about using leverage to sell more and take your real estate business to the next level. It’s only one of many solutions to fixing problems in your business, so it’s not an all-in-one-fix-everything-cure-for-anything-that-ails-you!
Are You an Artist or a Producer?
There’s a way to know if using leverage will help you or hurt you. Here’s how you know: If your passion and love for your business centers around working with clients one-on-one…if you’re the type of professional who gets energized by showing 27 homes to a new home buyer and walking them through the buying process, then you are the type of professional that I refer to as an “Artist”. You love the actual craft of working with people, and that is a beautiful thing. You are most likely a great agent. You most likely make a strong connection with your clients, and they probably love you and send you more repeat business than you can handle. That rocks!
If you’re an Artist, implementing the leverage principles that I’m about to convey will likely bore the daylights out of you! And they probably won’t help solve your problems. Reason being, these techniques will separate you from what you love most about your business…working with people one-on-one.
For the “Artist” practitioner who may be struggling with their sales or schedule, etc…a different type of solution is necessary. A topic for another post.
For today, there are real estate professionals who I refer to as “Producers”. Get it? It’s a reference to the music industry. Artists and Producers. The Producer is an invaluable part of the industry as well, but the Producer approaches the business from an entirely different mindset and has an entirely different set of goals. The Producer is the professional who can truly benefit from leverage, because the Producer is all about getting the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The Producer understands that helping people doesn’t necessarily mean working with them one-on-one. It means creating systems that can be delegated and managed by other people. It means looking at your business from a bird’s eye view.
The problem is there are many Artists who think they’re Producers, and there are many Producers who think of themselves as Artists. It’s important to know who you are…and WHY you’re in business! Decide why you’re really in real estate and if you want to employ leverage to transform your business. It’s a personal decision.
Ways to Implement Leverage into Your Real Estate Business – It’s Fun!
I’ll mention a few ways you can transform your business using leverage.
- Focus on referrals: Look at what I did. I started in sales, realized I could increase my hourly income by 60 times (more or less) by simply referring leads instead of working them myself. It’s enabled me to help a lot more people find homes with highly competent and experienced agents, to not ever go on weekend-long tours of dozens of homes (which I hated!), to get a LOT more control over my schedule and more. It’s also enabled me to work in multiple markets. I’ve referred thousands of clients out to agents all over the country. And in case you happen to be wondering…no, I’m not one of those guys who calls to sell you leads over the phone! That’s not how I do it, at all 😉
- Sell a subsidiary product: For example, an ebook. Why? Because it’s leveraged. Do you have real estate expertise, or don’t you? If you do, then your expertise is applicable to more people, many thousands more in fact, than the clients you’re working with on a day to day basis. Sell something to those people! Your expertise can be spread across the globe. Reach these buyers through your blog and social media marketing. You can even build landing pages and target them directly with a bit of SEO, PPC or whatever you’re comfortable doing. Point is, an ebook is just one more example of leverage most real estate people aren’t using.
- Sell a leveraged service: I have one idea I’m going to give you…free of charge, that I think is a real opportunity. I may or may not have time to implement this one myself, but I think it’s a great idea, and I haven’t seen ANYONE do it. Set up a membership site in your local real estate market. Put together a 3 month course that teaches sellers how to sell a home themselves. You’ll need disclosures, etc, and it’ll take a minute to put the content together. But really, step by step…show em how to sell their own home. Give em every single thing they need…docs, tips on staging, how to handle objections, negotiation tactics…you know what I’m talking about. Charge $150 a month. Of course, you’re not going to actually do anything for them; you’re just giving them the info. And guess what…after you’ve run the course, you already have the content, so you can run it again without any additional effort. I call this a “leveraged service” because it’s not one-on-one, and it’s duplicable. You can have one subscriber or a thousand, and it takes the same amount of time, and you can run it again and again, updating it every so often. One more bonus to this, I guarantee you some of them will convert to listings after they’re finished beating themselves up to sell their own home!
The Effects of Leverage
You may very well have never considered these techniques. Many real estate professionals don’t. And I ended up making this post longer than I intended, because I wanted to make sure I’m clear…it’s not for everyone. However, if you’re a Producer, and you’re looking to take your business to the next level…and the level beyond that, you’re going to have to implement leverage. There is simply only so much you can do by yourself, working face to face with one client at a time.
Yes, you can hire an assistant. And then another assistant, and so on and so forth, but even if you build an entire team, you’re still going to hit a wall, because you’re only working one local market. Every agent, no matter what stage of the game you’re in right now, has access to the global market, and almost no one takes advantage of it! This blows my mind!
Clearly, the examples of leverage I give here are only a few. There are innumerable ways you can leverage your time. The point is to do it! Don’t think leveraged ideas like this are outside the realm of possibility for you. Anything you can do to touch and help as many people as possible is good business.
If you make the decision to begin employing leverage into your real estate business, it will require that you begin looking at your business differently, from more of a bird’s eye view. You’ll begin to find yourself having to say “no” more often to projects and opportunities that just aren’t big enough for what you’re doing.
For example, I’ve turned down two six-figure job offers this year. Not low six-figures either. Why? Because they’re eighty-hour-a-week jobs, and while I’m not making that much money right now at all, I will be…and then some. And I’ll be doing it on my own terms, on my own schedule. It’s just another version of the $250 vs $5000 predicament. I’ve already answered the question…I’d rather make $250. How about you?