At some point early in your real estate career, you probably heard someone mention that the best way to ensure success as an agent is to approach your career as a business, not just a job.
While that is absolutely correct advice, it is also a little bit on the vague side…especially for those of us who don’t have strong business backgrounds.
Of course, no one ever said that you must have a ton of business experience to understand the basic concepts. And just about every bookstore out there devotes an entire section to books on the subject.
One of the most popular business books ever published is Good to Great by Jim Collins, who spent years analyzing the very best business practices before authoring this blueprint for taking your business to the next level.
Let’s take a closer look at the seven principles that are discussed in the book and how we might apply them to our real estate business.
Elite Level Leadership
The first thing that Collins finds in every great company that he studies is an elite level leader at the top of the company. These leaders all exhibit qualities like humility, strong will, incredible diligence, and endless ambition.
As the undisputed leader of your real estate business, you are going to want to make sure that all of these qualities are evident in the work that you do, both for clients and other real estate professionals.
Get the Right People on Your Team
Collins points out that before any business can make the leap from good to great, they must first ensure that they have the right people “on the bus.” If you don’t have an organization full of rock stars, finding those people should be your first priority.
Our real estate organizations are obviously not going to be as big as some of the companies that Collins is talking about, but we need to have the right people on our team either way.
Make sure that the mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and other vendors you recommend are going represent your reputation well. If they don’t, it’s time to find new people to recommend.
Brutal Honesty is the Best Policy
Another trademark of great businesses is that they are able to make good decisions because they are brutally honest with themselves about the facts at hand. Whether we are talking with clients about a potential listing price or with ourselves about our year-end earnings goals, brutal honesty is a must if we are going to be able to make good decisions.
Don’t Overcomplicate Your Operation
Collins refers to what he calls “The Hedgehog Concept,” which means that great companies focus exclusively on what they do very well. They don’t let themselves get distracted with anything outside that framework.
There are dozens of different ways to make money in the real estate world. But your best bet for long-term success is to find out what you do best and focus all of your effort in that area.
Obsess Over Discipline
Creating a plan doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t going to stick to it. The great companies featured in Good to Great all instituted what Collins calls “A Culture of Discipline.”
Since real estate agents don’t have an entire company of people to deal with, this discipline issue generally lies with just the one person at the top of the company. The most certain way to succeed in this business is to show up every day and work hard. The most certain way to fail is to lack that discipline.
Utilize Technology Advantages
Back when Good to Great was written, social media didn’t exist in the way that it does today. But even back then, Collins pointed out that the best companies were using every new technology that they could to expedite the process of getting things done.
In today’s world of constantly improving technology, the best agents are jumping onto any new ideas that can help them improve their businesses. That could mean anything from Snapchat video walkthroughs to using drone footage. There are endless possibilities.
Avoid the Doom Loop
Collins uses the comparison of the Flywheel and the Doom Loop to illustrate the point that companies become great through consistent effort over a long period of time. There is no magic moment, and looking for one is a fool’s errand.
The same is true in the real estate world. You can build a successful real estate business through years of consistent hard work, but searching for a shortcut to get there will almost always end in failure.
Building a successful real estate business all comes down to staying motivated to show up and work hard. But keeping these basic business principles in mind will allow you to focus on building your business the right way, instead of just working at a job selling real estate.