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The Real Estate Team Leader's Biggest Blindspot

When real estate teams combine leading and lagging indicators and KPIs in one system, it unlocks magic in their growth trajectory.

Brian Charlesworth

Brian Charlesworth

Chairman & CEO

Brian is a highly accomplished entrepreneur, business builder, and thought leader in the real estate industry. With a track record of success in software, telecommunications, and franchise businesses, Brian has a talent for identifying and realizing business opportunities. Driven by his passion for technology, Brian is dedicated to using his skills and experience to bring about positive change and improve people's lives through the advancement of technology.

 

A team member asked me the other day what my favorite part of business is. I've started my fair share of businesses, and I've lived the ups and downs of entrepreneurship for three decades now. 

The answer to this one is pretty easy.

I like to win. I don't care a whole lot about the role I'm playing in the business at a given time, as long as we're winning. 

And I think with how competitive this world is, you kind of have to be obsessed with winning. If you aren't, someone else with that obsession will displace you. That's just the brutal reality. 

In this industry, from 2017 to 2021, everyone was winning. It was a rising tide and all ships were going up. 

And even though everyone was winning, not everyone became winners

You can be losing and be on your way to becoming a winner, while at the same time, you can be winning while creating all the bad habits that will ultimately make you a loser. 

The difference is understanding. Those who understand why they are winning have a much better shot at staying winners. 

Those who understand why they are losing, will become winners, if they stick at it long enough and get the right help. 

But that section of delusional people, who don't understand why they are winning OR why they're losing... those people are stuck. There's no growth there. 

 

The Real Estate Roller Coaster

There's a lot of people out there who are winning, but not a lot that can tell you exactly why they're winning. And that's a dangerous position to be in.

When times are good, people tend to let their foot off the gas. I've seen it 10,000+ times when looking at dashboards with our Sisu clients. If you have a good May, chances are, unless you step on the gas, you're going to have a crappy June. 

It's the exhausting up-and-down Real Estate Roller Coaster.

The way off the roller coaster is knowing what you need to push on when times are good so that they can get even better. Otherwise, your team's success just breeds complacency. 

The best leaders understand this. When times are good, they step on the gas just a little bit harder. They don't ride The Real Estate Roller Coaster. 

 

Here is the biggest blind spot I see in the modern real estate team leader/broker

Understanding "Why we are winning" comes down to inputs and outputs. 

It's cause and effect. 

We did x, and it created y. We are going to do more of x and watch to see if it creates even more y. 

The main inputs in a real estate business are: 

  • Leads created
  • Leads distributed
  • Dials / emails / texts
  • Conversations
  • Appointments set
  • Appointments held
  • Offers written
  • Homes shown

The main outputs in a real estate business are: 

  • Agency agreements signed
  • Clients put Under Contract
  • Closed transactions

The blind spot comes when you can't tie cause to effect. Very few leaders in this industry can answer questions like the following: 

  • How many PPC leads were generated last month, and of those leads, what % did we set an appointment with? 
  • Of the appointments set by our ISA team in Q1, what % are now closed or under contract? 
  • What is the difference in conversion on our 2023 leads when given to Agent A vs. Agent B? 

Three reasons people are getting it wrong with the Data in their business

When I started helping my wife build her team (now 90 agents) back in the day, knowing our numbers was something that our coaches pushed us very hard on. 

Know your numbers. Know your numbers. Know your numbers. 

We spent insane amounts of time in spreadsheets trying to get all of the inputs/outputs above tracked. But there were some things we didn't understand, that many still don't understand today. These three mistakes make it difficult to have clarity in your business. 

Critical Mistake #1: You don't measure conversion in cohorts

You can't compare this months closings to this months appointments set and get an accurate number, because this months closings were from appointments set months ago.

You have to start thinking in Cohorts, or groups of leads/transactions/recruits. 

We set 150 appointments in Q1. Now that we are through Q2,  how many of those appointments have progressed to signed/under contract/closed? 

How do the numbers compare for agent A vs. agent B? 

What about lead source A vs. lead source B? 

This is where you start to tie inputs to outputs. 

Critical Mistake #2: Separation of Leading and Lagging indicators (inputs and outputs)

Lots of people have reports that show them leading indicators (usually CRM reports) and other, separate reports that show them lagging indicators (transactions, commissions, etc—often in a spreadsheet or a TC system). 

This is fundamentally different from tracking leading AND lagging indicators in one continuous, flowing process. 

Even if you have them both on the same spreadsheet, just one tab apart, you're going to have tremendous difficulty connecting inputs to outputs. 

Inputs and outputs—leading and lagging indicators—have to be tracked in the same exact place, on the same data object, without separation, in order for you to get this right.

Critical Mistake #3: Not viewing your Operations Department for the goldmine of data that it is

You should view your TC/Ops department as the "reporting engine" of your business.

These are your most trustworthy, attention-to-detail people. The things they touch are going to be accurate and updated at all times, more than anything else in your business. 

If your ops team is working out of a system that doesn't provide you reporting, you're missing out on a goldmine of data.

Another challenge is bringing agents into this data—because they need it to drive their processes, too! But how do you do that without giving them access where they could potentially mess up your TCs pristine data? 

The best solution is to create a system where when transactions go under contract, agents access turns from edit to view-only in all systems. 

Many owners I talk to try to address these challenges by hiring a VA, or forcing the TC to enter data into a system that can do this type of reporting (usually a spreadsheet) and it just never quite works. The data is usually off and it bloats your expense line and makes it tough to get profitable. 

 

The teams that get it right are the ones that combine leading with lagging, in one place

When you get these three things right, you'll feel it. You won't have doubts about your numbers anymore. You have to feel it to understand it. It's unmistakable. 

You'll feel completely different about your business with this clarity.

I've talked to team leaders who went from feeling stressed and overwhelmed to clear and confident—because stress and overwhelm really just comes from the unknown. Once you know what you need to fix, you can roll up your sleeves and get to work. Too many people don't have the numbers to tell them what to fix. 

The simplest thing you can do to create this clarity today is to make sure that your leading and lagging indicators can be measured, tracked and compared in one place. This should be the same place your TC/Operations team works out of, so that you can be 100% confident in the data output.

 

This should be effortless

You shouldn't need to have extra processes to create this type of reporting, or team members exerting themselves on Sunday's so that your numbers can be ready for Monday team meeting. 

The flow of data through your business should just produce this type of data on autopilot. 

The team here at Sisu is experts on that. We'll connect your CRM, show you how data flows through the system, and you'll have a fully-loaded Sisu process ready to go before you even have to pay us a dime. 

Talk to the Sisu team.

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