18 December 2014 ~ 0 Comments

How One Agent Is Doing Over 3 Million in GCI

RedX DiscountI was listening to a seminar last evening and the lead speaker was leading RE/Max REALTOR Lars Hedenborg. During the presentation, I kept thinking that Lars’ business model should be the new model that every successful agent should follow. The reason being that you don’t spend your life cold calling your SOI, but instead rely on systems to drive consistent business to your door.

What Lars has done is simply systematize each aspect of his business and grown it to a level where he could simply hand it off to junior agents. Once he divested that portion of his business, he focused on another area, grew it, then divested again.

As a result of this unique approach, he was able to do over 340 transactions in his first year, build a team, and become one of the largest producers for RE/Max in the country. Now, instead of managing transactions, he works one day per week managing the people and systems that consistently make him money.

The unique takeaway from his approach is simply that real estate does not need to be hard, it doesn’t need to be hours in front of an auto-dialer. It can be simple and it can be great.

With that in mind, here is Lars’ approach in a nutshell:

Step 1: Build a lead capture system that focuses on buyer leads. I know it sounds rudimentary, but his system originally started as a boomtown website (which he still relies upon) and daily Craigslist ads; which he still posts around 50 per day.

On the front end, try and track various lead generation systems and determine which approaches will give you the most clients (not leads) for your dollars spent. In looking at the spreadsheet that Lars uses to track his business, yard signs and Trulia are his personal top contributors. Zillow is pretty far behind those two, but still contributes a significant amount of business.

For the system, he built a robust backend that allows him to touch his prospects around 60 times per year through email, podcasts, facebook posts, postcards, text and mailers.

Step 2: Optimize and standardize the system so that it is as automated as possible. Figure out how much you make per hour based upon your current volume and outsource those activities that pay less than that. For example, Lars has someone come in every day and post his Craigslist ads.

My approach would be to go over to Freelancer or Odesk and hire someone to post all of my listings as well as the open HUD listings every day. As an aside, Craigslist HUD postings still bring me five or six good leads per week.

During this process, master and document the approach that makes you most effective with buyers. Memorize your scripts and figure out what works for you and your market. Documentation and tracking are key because you will eventually be handing this portion of your business off in order to grow it in other areas.

Step 3: Once you have a system in place that is automated and efficient, hire a buyers agent to duplicate the sales approach that you have mastered. Essentially, this agent will be focusing on the buyer leads that come through the door and will be following the steps that you found effective to close the business. For Lars, each of his agents is expected to meet with two new buyers each week; along with servicing their current book of business.

Step 4: Move into sellers and attack the low hanging fruit. Lars uses the RedX for his FSBO and expired listing leads and uses a system of personal mailers and phone touches to prospect these leads. The mailers are personalized letters and he tracks the success rate of every touch. In addition to the RedX, Lars relies on his database and sphere of influence to pull many of his transactions. Once again, for each of these lead sources, he systematizes his approach so that this aspect of his business can be handed off.

Step 5: After getting the systems that work in place on the seller side, hand off this aspect of your business to a junior agent and work with them to duplicate the processes that you have in place.

Once you have both sides of the transaction covered, simply monitor, adjust and grow. If the business warrants it, hire additional staff to take the burden.

As I mentioned above, I love this approach simply because it turns the traditional model of real estate on its ear. Instead of spending hours on the phone dialing for dollars, this approach allows the system to do the heavy lifting. When a lead comes in, the call is made; regardless of the time of day. If no contact is made, text, email, Facebook, LinkedIn take over. The lead is called daily for the next five days but is also put into the system where the prospect will be touched 60 times per year until they yell stop, or convert into a client. More importantly, the business is scalable and designed to allow the leading agent to step away and have a life as the business grows.


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