5 Things Holding You Back From Surpassing Your Business Goals
What’s stopping you from taking your business to the next level?
In nearly all cases, the answer is not as simple as updating your CRM, adjusting your ad spend, or getting more social media followers. You need to dig deeper than that.
Below, top agents dive into five common roadblocks that may be impacting your ability to achieve your business goals. Read on to see which of these may be holding you back and limiting you from reaching your full potential.
1. You don’t have a niche
Maybe you’re trying to market to an entire city instead of a key neighborhood, or you’re targeting everyone from investors to short sellers instead of honing in on one demographic.
If you try to be everything to everyone, you won’t seem like an expert to anyone.
Alternately, if you’re able to establish yourself as the go-to agent for, say, seniors in a specific ZIP Code looking to downsize, your expertise will shine through.
Plus, it’ll be much easier for prospects in your target demographic to find you online.
STRATEGY: Narrow your focus to a specific neighborhood, buyer or seller persona, type of transaction, etc., and concentrate on providing exceptional service to your chosen niche.
“It’s really important to have a niche,” says Kofi Nartey, founder of luxury firm GLOBL RED. “Real estate is a mature industry, so you definitely have to be known for something. And if you nail your niche, it’s going to be this beautiful convergence of your natural gifts and abilities and personality with your hard skills, market knowledge, and resources.”
2. Your branding blends in with everyone else’s
A whopping 91% of today’s consumers prioritize brand authenticity when deciding where to spend their money. They’re looking for brands with a genuine point of view that bring something new to the table.
That means if you want more market share, your business needs to stand out from your competitors’. Which can be nearly impossible when you’re required to follow strict brand guidelines from a big-box brokerage.
After all, how do you position yourself as authentic and original when you’re sharing your branding with thousands of other agents?
“I used to run a mega team at a big box brokerage,” says Kelli Griggs, founder of Navigate Realty. “I would go out to a listing presentation and hear, ‘Oh, we already interviewed someone from that brokerage.’ And I would say, ‘But our team is different!’ I knew I needed to create my own brand.”
STRATEGY: Don’t forget that clients hire you, not your brokerage. If your current brokerage’s branding doesn’t ring true to who you are or doesn’t offer you the freedom you need to differentiate yourself, it may be time to evaluate whether it’s the right place for you.
3. You’re not following a business plan with clear production goals
A Harvard Business Review study found that entrepreneurs who write formal business plans are 16% more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t.
It’s not enough to say you want to grow your business — you need a structured plan that both defines your production goals and keeps you on track to achieve them.
“My plan used to be, ‘Let’s concentrate on getting our name out there and getting more houses sold,’” says John Woodruff, founder of Aethos Real Estate. “But that’s not a real plan.”
John now meets weekly with his Side business manager, who helps him plan his growth and monitor his progress.
“Now I sit down with people who point to charts and say, ‘Here’s your projected growth, here’s your desired growth, and here’s how all your agents are tracking to meet your goals.’ And that’s been fabulous.”
STRATEGY: Start plotting out your business plan by identifying a few SMART (Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goals for your business.
Vague objectives like “be the best agent in the area” are so amorphous, they’re hard to pursue. That’s why smaller, more concrete goals like “generate 50% of new business from referrals” are more effective at pushing you in the right direction.
4. You’re more focused on selling than building relationships
According to NAR, 90% of homebuyers claim they would use their agent again or recommend them to others — but most REALTORS® earn just 17% of their business through referrals and 13% through repeat clients.
This suggests many agents aren’t putting enough work into building strong, lasting relationships with their clients.
As Melissa Sofia, founder of Avenue Home Collective, recently told California Association of REALTORS® CEO Joel Singer: “So many agents are focused on the dollars. But real estate is about the long game.”
If you’re too focused on the sale to provide exemplary customer service, you’ll miss out on years of opportunities that could come from that one satisfied client.
STRATEGY: Prioritize past-client nurture in your outreach plan. Zac Bacon, founder of Quantum Real Estate, does this by hosting regular client appreciation events like putting on movies in a local park or renting out a theater.
“It’s important to expand on those relationships … to learn more about my clients so I can serve them at a higher level,” says Zac. “I want to be their go-to person, I want to be top of mind for everything.”
5. You resist change
Maybe you’re not willing to switch your systems, even though new technology could save you significant time. Or maybe you’re too attached to your current processes, even though it’s been years since you last hit a new production threshold.
If you’re afraid to change things up, you’ll lose out on the cutting-edge tools and systems that transform the industry for the better. And in the process, you’ll lose clients to other agents who are quicker to innovate.
“Some people are resistant to change primarily due to fear,” says Alex Wang, founder of Rainmaker Real Estate. “They dig their feet in. But it’s really important to be able to innovate.”
STRATEGY: Don’t close yourself off to new ideas. Just because the status quo works for you now doesn’t mean it will later down the line.
The industry is changing fast. To ensure you thrive, not just survive, you’ll need to be able to change right along with it.