When I first started selling real estate, I was a young “whipper-snapper” who wanted to set the entire industry on fire. I had it all planned. I was going to be the Number One real estate agent in America – no, the WORLD! – and I was going to do it alone.
Being young and naïve, I truly believed I didn’t need anyone else. I wanted to do everything myself. I wasn’t going to ask anyone for help. I wanted to be successful and thought that the definition of success was doing it all myself… how wrong I was.
My, how time changes things!
Now I look at that girl with her new agent’s license and laugh. If only I could step back in time and tell her all the mistakes she was going to make. But she wouldn’t listen anyway.
Probably the biggest difference between Me-Then and Me-Now is that Me-Now understands that helping others to succeed has made me happier and more successful than ever trying to do it all for myself.
But key to my success as an agent was my eventual realization that going it alone is a surefire way to crash your business quickly. It took me years – seriously years! – to learn this lesson. Giving up control of every detail of my business was one of the most difficult tasks I ever had to face.
If I could show Me-Then how my business works today, she would be shocked at how willingly I delegate almost EVERYTHING. Yet, by doing so, I make more money and have more time to spend with my family and kids than ever before.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are pitfalls to delegating tasks to others. However, the upside to delegation vastly outweighs the downside. The key is to delegate to people:
a) You know are capable of the task. (This is so important!)
b) Who have proven themselves to you time and again.
It’s not always easy to find such people. That may take a while. But once you do – hold onto them for dear life! Treat them well, and they will be the cornerstone for your success.
In order to get to the next level of your business, delegation is absolutely necessary. All of the Best-of-the-Best agents I know have this trait in common. They have learned to trust others and let go of the control reins.
This goes for hiring outside help as well. You may have certain ideas for your business that you love, but they may be bad ideas. It’s always better to let somebody tell you – an outside professional – what has been tested to work.
I have agents come to me and say, “Denise, I used to work in so-and-so business and I know all about marketing.” When I hear this, I know I have my work cut out for me. When it comes to real estate, I know exactly what works and what doesn’t. What works for a convenience store or a dental office doesn’t work for real estate. Doing things “your own way” because you think you’re an expert on everything is only another obstacle you’re placing in front of yourself on the road to success.
Let the people who know handle it for you. When you come to me, you cut anywhere from one to ten years off your learning curve.
Besides success, another key benefit of not going it alone is time. There are only 168 hours in every week. There is nothing you can do about that. A huge chunk of that 168 hours is going to be spent sleeping, eating, washing, getting dressed, and driving. That leaves only a handful of hours to get done what needs to be done.
Eventually, as you get busier and busier, you’re going to run out of hours. This is why you need leverage if you’re ever going to move up to the next level. Agents strive to be busy, because busyness is equated with success. But busyness creates more busyness. Then, that busyness creates even more busyness.
Suddenly, that eating and sleeping part of the 168 hours is being chipped away and your work becomes 50% to 60% to even 70% of your life. This is the road to cardiac arrest. Without time to breathe and relax, the human body cannot re-energize. Agents that fall into the busy-trap either burn out, drop out or wake up to the power of delegation
One of the greatest ways to increase your productivity to the next level is to hire an assistant. I know you think you may not be able to afford one right now, but I promise you that you’ll be amazed at how your business grows when you do.
Even if you have only a part-time assistant, you can increase your business tenfold. The power of having someone else handle the day-to-day scheduling tasks that drive you nutty is incredible. And not as expensive as you may think! Especially when you consider how much more money you will take in as a result.
Who else can you delegate tasks to?
- Your accountant. Please don’t tell me you’re still doing your own bookkeeping or taxes. I’m always shocked when I see agents spending time balancing the books when they could be at an Open House. Leave the numbers to number people. You should be spending the maximum amount of time you can with the people who need your expertise.
- Your title insurance company. Cultivate a relationship with them. Get to know them. They need you, you need them. Provide them with helpful business information, and make sure they have systems in place for you and your clients.
- Your marketing people. Don’t waste time designing your own materials, licking and stuffing envelopes, and going to the post office. Outsource this to your real estate marketing company like The Lones Group.
I couldn’t do what I do today without the people I rely on. Learning to let go was one of the biggest lessons I ever learned. Trusting the expertise of others is critical for your success. Resolve to stop going it alone today and watch your income and personal time soar.