Tim Heyl Shares How He Became a $53 Million Lead-generation Machine

Sep 4, 2014 5:16:05 PM

The phrase “meteoric rise” can be overused, but when it comes to 26-year-old Tim Heyl, those words fit like a glove. Back when Heyl first got his start in real estate, he had to borrow the entry fee for BOLD from his sister. Fast-forward five years and Heyl has a 13-person team, $1.4 million in GCI and closed out 2013 with $53 million in volume. Heyl shares with us his journey toward becoming a lead-generation machine.

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Fresh out of college and living with his parents, Heyl founded his real estate business in 2009 but wasn’t sure of his next steps. “I knew I would do whatever it took, but had little direction on how to succeed in the business and was wasting a lot of time doing things like ordering business cards and building my Website,” Heyl recalls. Enter the eight-week KW MAPS Coaching BOLD program, which introduced the fledgling agent to the importance of lead generation. When he couldn’t pay for it, his older sister let him borrow the fee. “I remember making fewer than five calls the first hour we were given to call expireds,” he says. “I was intimidated. I’d never cold-called anyone before so I was loaded with limiting beliefs. About halfway through it, I’d created a habit for myself, and by the time BOLD was over, I actually thought making 20 outbound contacts a day was the norm.” After BOLD, Heyl spent two hours a day lead generating, followed by an hour of administrative tasks. As business grew, he upped that to three hours of lead generation and a fourth hour of follow-up.

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In his first year, Heyl time-blocked, dedicating weekdays before noon for lead generation. “I decided early on I wasn’t going to work evenings or weekends, so I had to figure out how to get it done during normal business hours,” he says. “I stuck to the phone since it was the most efficient way to get 20 to 30 unique contacts a day. I dabbled in calling several different sources, from neighborhoods to my sphere, and I realized that expireds were my sweet spot. My focus was on three things: number of new contacts, nurtures generated (expireds that wanted me to follow up) and listing appointments set. Thirty contacts usually got me five nurtures and one appointment. That was a good day’s work, and it was usually done before lunch.” At first, Heyl handled lead generation manually, but soon he incorporated an auto-dialer and a CRM with reminders for follow-up. All systems aside, Heyl says it really came down to knowing his scripts. “Before I knew my scripts, I found myself fumbling all over the phone,” he says. “I wasn’t exactly smooth. An army doesn’t go into battle without a strategy, and a football team doesn’t go into a game without their plays memorized. Scripts work the same way. Since we already know what sellers will say when we request to meet with them, it only makes sense to have strategic responses ready.” Even with scripts and time-blocking, Heyl didn’t hit his goals that first year. “It was a bit frustrating since I was spending a lot of time generating leads and doing the right things,” he admits. “I only sold 20 houses or so, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that I was building a pipeline that would explode a couple of years later.”

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Over the next few years, Heyl’s business increased and his team expanded, but it wasn’t without growing pains. “In The ONE Thing, Gary talks about the fear of chaos,” Heyl says. “I was oblivious to that fear, but chaos still showed up, as it always will. The way I dealt with it caused my entire team to quit on me in the middle of my third year. Generating mass amounts of leads forced me to learn the qualities of true leadership at a much earlier age than I would’ve otherwise. At the expense of losing my entire business, I quickly invested much of my time and money in growing myself as a leader, and it’s been the best investment I’ve ever made.” He went back to his original education hub: KW MAPS Coaching, which helped him develop his leadership skills. Not too long after, new team members followed: first two admins, then two buyer agents and then another administrator. “Once I realized someone needed to proactively lead the team, I turned to leverage, to free up hours in the day to focus on leadership,” Heyl explains. “I knew I had to leverage either listing appointments or prospecting, and that was when I brought on my first inside sales agent (ISA).” With the addition of ISAs, Heyl transitioned from being a lead-generation machine to a lead-generation teacher. “It’s all about expectations,” he explains. “When their job description has nothing in it besides lead generating, it sets the stage nicely. We have our ISAs write, chant and role-play the scripts twice a day every day for the first two weeks. If they don’t have the scripts down by then, they go another two weeks. For salespeople, sometimes picking up the phone and making the next dial is the hardest thing to do. The auto-dialer takes that out of the picture. Horizontal accountability works much better than vertical accountability. Having multiple ISAs has created a competitive spirit within the department as well as a level of accountability for each other’s success.” The Heyl Group’s compensation model also helps spur ISA success, providing them base plus 5 percent. Listing specialists earn 10 percent, and buyer agents receive 40 percent, with everyone in the office participating in profit share.

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By year five, good prospecting habits were becoming ingrained in Heyl and his team of lead-generating machines. “Our ISAs do a power-up with each other to get the energy level where it needs to be before they start dialing,” Heyl says. “We learned it from Bill Crespo’s Power Prospecting course, which is a must-take for mega lead generators. Our lead-generation room is separate to avoid distractions. We have standing desks, headsets, dual screens, a scoreboard that is updated daily, lively music being played and healthy snacks available to keep energy up. Our business is built in that room.” While the ISAs focus on prospecting, Heyl strives to keep the focus on the team. “ISAs need to be appreciated by everyone on the team at all times, even if the appointments they are setting need work,” he said. “They are like the offensive lineman of the team doing the hardest work and often getting the least credit from the public. Some days can be hard, as rejection is a regular for an ISA. They need positivity from everyone on the team at all times.”

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Like most successful agents, Heyl’s eye is already on the future, and his goal is expansion through Keller Williams’ new Mega Agent Expansion program. “Expanding within my market is the first step to begin a strong foundation for my expansion model before moving too far,” he says. “My goal is to own an asset in my business. If my personal prospecting is what keeps moving it forward, I will see that as a failure. That being said, I will always be looking for talent to join me in whatever I’m doing.”

Learn more directly from Heyl in KW MAPS Group Coaching course Leveraged Lead Generation.

Want to learn even more? Want to learn why so many teams are adopting the inside sales model to massively increase sales? Is your business booming with leads? <a href="http://mapscoaching.kw.com/leveraged-lead-generation-0" target="_blank">Register for KW MAPS Group Coaching course “Leveraged Lead Generation”</a> where you will learn how to build a prospecting culture that eliminates the question of “where will my next deal come from?”
<strong>The next course begins Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. CST.</strong>