Every agent goes through changes in their business and each of those changes moves them through different stages towards building a bigger, better more successful real estate business.
There’s no time frame for how long it takes to get to each stage, nor is there a time limit as to how long you’ll stay.
One of the biggest challenges most agents face is inconsistency - inconsistency in production, budgeting, lead generation, hiring, management, and everything in between.
In the end, moving through each stage to the end where you are the true CEO of your organization is about more than selling a larger number of homes...it’s about overcoming that inconsistency in order to get to the next stage in the business.
If you don’t know what it takes to progress to the next stage - or worse - what stage in which you currently “reside”, it’s very hard to devise a plan that results in you enjoying the personal and financial freedom that comes with becoming the CEO of your real estate organization.
After years of research, personal experience and a ton of trial and error, we’ve determined that there are 7 specific stages that EVERY real estate traverse on the way to having a solid, profitable real estate business that runs without their daily involvement.
To help you get a grasp of where you are and then what it looks like to get to the next stage, I’m laying them out in sequential order.
Make sure you follow from beginning to end in order to determine exactly where you are currently.
In doing so, you’ll be certain of what’s necessary for you to make the lead to the next stage in your journey to financial freedom.
Overcome Inconsistency and Grow A Successful Team
Stage 1 - Solopreneur
At this stage, you dove, head first, into becoming a real estate agent. Being able to control your time and money was exciting to you, so you took the leap.
Soon, reality set in and you now realize you have to work as hard - if not harder - as you did when you were someone’s employee.
Sure, it’s rewarding, but being a real estate agent has a price.
In the Solopreneur stage, you’ve likely sold as many as 14 homes - or you might not have even sold a home yet.
As well, you’re volume of sales could be as high at $3 million with your GCI hovering somewhere around $60k.
At this point, you’re figuring out a lot of things yourself. You’re not getting a ton of direction and there’s really no consistency in your systems or in how you get clients...other than converting people from your sphere.
Lost might just be the best description of how you feel at this time.
In the end, you know what you know (and you might still not know what you don’t know).
You see that there’s a better way to do things and you’re hoping you can stick it out long enough to take advantage of that better way yourself.
Stage 2 awaits you, but you’re going to need more leads and find a way to distinguish yourself from your competition in order to make it happen.
To there, you’ll need to start focusing on doing the right things in the right order and being a lot better about where you spend your time and with whom you spend it.
It’s going to take work, but you’re the person for the job.
Stage 2 - Seeker
In Stage 2, you’ve made it farther than about 80% of the people make it in the real estate business. You may have a few scratches on you, but you’re still in the fight and looking to win.
Also, your commitment is still strong, but you feel a bit stuck, almost as if you’re in quicksand..
You may have started buying leads from a variety of sources and you feel like if you could gain just a little more momentum, you’ start seeing some consistent success.
In this stage, your volume hovers between $3mm and $5mm and you’re bringing in $60k to $105k in GCI annually.
Mastering scripts over the phone and face to face is a must at this stage. You need to be able to convert leads to appointments and appointments to clients with more regularity.
Lead conversion and sales are the name of the game in Stage 2.
Doing this means more revenue coming in the door that you can use to hire a key person or two so you can have more leverage to take your business to the next stage of success.
Things are better in Stage 2, for sure, but you still have your work cut out for you. The push is on for Stage 3.
Stage 3 - Grower
Stage 3 is like a ride at Six Flags over Texas, exciting, but lots of ups and downs. In this stage, you’re able to get your head around what it takes to succeed and your prospecting game is pretty on point.
Consistency remains an issue as you’re income isn’t as steady as you’d like it to be.
When you get to Stage 3, working with buyers start to get old and you yearn to get steady listing business to make more money and get better control of your time.
Here, you’ve got at least one administrative assistant on board and you’re poised to hire an Inside Sales Agent ( ISA ) to take over the job of lead generation, giving you time to focus more on sales and growing your business.
With roughly 26 to 48 home sales per year leading to $5mm to $10mm in volume, you’ve got a respectable $105k to $230k in GCI coming in.
Your goal as you round the turn towards Stage 4 are two things:
More leverage by adding staff and at least buyer’s agents
Become a listing machine so you can sell 2-3 listings per month, giving you more control over your income
The good news is that as a Grower, you’re headed in the right direction. That said, your real estate business is still run and heavily dependent on you.
Stage 4 - Hustler
If Stage 4 had a slogan, it would be like Toyota’s from the mid-70’s “You asked for it, you got it, Toyota!”.
You worked through Stages 1, 2 and 3 to get busier and bring in more business...and it’s working. In Stage 4, you finally have some consistent business coming in, selling somewhere between 4 and 7 homes per month.
No doubt, this is a good thing, however, you are still working like crazy to make sure sales keep coming and that your clients are well cared for.
In some cases, you wish you could clone yourself so you could get more done in a day.
It’s here that you really need be a good delegator and manager. You see, if you don’t really start to let go of some of the things that you don’t need to control anymore, you’ll never get to the point where you can let go of everything.
And, although you’re hauling in some decent scratch - anywhere between $230k and $330k on $10mm to $16mm in volume - you still feel like you’re on a treadmill that’s been set at 20 mph.
The ray of hope at the end of the Hustler stage is that you’re lights-out good in front of buyers and sellers and can convert business with ease.
Stage 5 gives you the opportunity to add some multiple streams of revenue, delegate even more activities and position yourself to not have to work with buyers any more.
Things are heating up and it’s getting even more exciting.
Stage 5 - Entrepreneur
Life is good. You’ve got employees, buyer agents and money coming in steadily. The comma has started to move out to the right in your bank balance and you feel like you’ve got some of this figured out pretty well.
You may not have “arrived” yet, but you’re getting closer for sure.
Stage 5 feels as if you’re whitewater rafting a level 3 river: you’re not going to die or “fall out of the boat”...but things still don’t feel completely stable.
Even though you’ve started to let others take over activities within your company, there’s still plenty for you to do. Getting more leverage here is still crucial as you continue to grow your business.
When you’re at Stage 5, you can be selling as many as 160 homes per year and making as much as $1 million in GCI. Even on the low end it’s 80 homes per year and $330k in GCI...which isn’t bad.
By the end of Stage 5, you’ve worked hard to have enough multiple streams of income in place to stabilize your business:
Solid Commission Structures
Revenue from Real Estate Investments
Buyer agent commissions
At the same time, you’ll need to have a strategy in place to make the higher-level, business- and life-changing decisions that come with owning and running a business of this magnitude.
Lastly, you’ll be looking to looking for more people to add to your team to generate even more income and off-load even more responsibility, which will add to the stability of your enterprise.
Stage 6 - Leader
When you get to this stage, you are well known in your market and your team is getting consistent business because of both hard work and your presence in your marketplace.
Despite the additional stability, you’re still cranking at least 60 hours per week to maintain a thriving business.
The good news is that you’re not worrying about where your next commission check is coming from.
The tough news is that you’re more concerned with proper sales management, getting yourself out of the listing side of the business and bringing on even better buyer agents to join your team.
It still puzzles you that your buyer agents don’t make their calls and do a good job following up.
Moreover, you’re still figuring out how you’re going to put the remaining pieces of the puzzle together so that this thing will run without you in the not so distant future.
For lack of a better word, it’s a whirlwind of activities from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed.
More good news: your GCI now ranges between $1m to $2.5mm on volume of $16mm to $32mm.
By the end of Stage 6, you’re hoping to have a strong leader running your organization and a legit listing agent handling the listing duties for your company.
Once you’ve hired, onboarded and trained properly for these two position, you can what leaders love to do, lead and develop people to help them become even better versions of themselves.
Stage 7 - Visionary
Welcome to Stage 7. You’ve accomplished something that most real estate agents will never be able make happen: create a viable business that will give you the chance to do what you want to do when you want to do it.
You’ve worked your way from not knowing if you were going to make it all the way to having a business that provides amazing service to hundreds of real estate consumers a year while providing a solid livelihood for the people who work with and for you.
In Stage 7, you’re hauling in upwards of $2.5mm in GCI on volume of close to $60mm and you really feel like you’ve achieved your real estate goals.
Yet, as good as things are, not everything is perfect.
Stage 7 feels like a tar pit from the standpoint that you need to continually replace low-producing agents on your team.
Agents who make it to Stage 7 historically create an exit strategy with the goal of selling the business for a profit..but only once they determine they’ve put it in position to do that.
At the end of Stage 7, you understand your financial model and rest easily at night knowing have built a highly profitable debt-free business that generates profits for you without your involvement in day-to-day activities.
What’s even better is that you are paid a salary for your role from your businessʼ profits.
Big decisions await you as you consider selling and even expanding your efforts to a different marketplace.
Hopefully, it’s clear at this point that you will experience seven distinct stages in your real estate career on your way to becoming the true CEO of your organization.
As I stated earlier, it’s crucial to know in which stage you currently operate so you can attack the inconsistencies in your business faster and more effectively.
Take the time to review all the stages in growing a successful business and then connect with us so we can give you some guidance on how you can do it faster and easier.
Being a Visionary in your business is completely available to you if you are willing to do what it takes to work your way through the stages I’ve outlined here for you.
Market Maker Leads.