We have a saying at Keller Williams. “Success doesn’t happen overnight. It’s gradually, then suddenly.”
It’s taken 10 years to build The Heyl Group to what it is today, and I love sharing the secrets I’ve leveraged to help other real estate agents succeed.
Secrets Are Not Magic Bullets
Unlike some secret promises to success, you won’t find any magic bullets or quick hits here. What you can find are some secrets to success that I learned along the way to building a top-producing real estate team in Austin, Texas. When you adopt these principles and best practices – models that can all be found in Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s bestselling book The Millionaire Real Estate Agent – you are developing a discipline for success that will get you where you want to go.
Success Secret #1: Generate ‘Seller Nurture’ Leads
The number one thing successful real estate teams do right is grow their seller pipeline. Teams that focus on the seller side are going to have the most organized growth.
Why is this a secret – shouldn’t that be obvious? It is obvious. But the truth is not everyone is willing to invest in the discipline and time required to truly grow a powerful seller pipeline.
Gary Keller sums it up best when he says, “Everything doesn’t matter equally.” When it comes to building your business and your team, it’s important to understand that there’s typically one thing that matters more than anything else. Something you can boil the profitability of your business down to. For me, that’s the concept of “seller nurtures.”
Seller Nurtures Defined
Even before The Heyl Group existed, seller nurtures was my strategy. Five days a week, I woke up and cold-called. The goal was also straightforward: Generate five qualified seller leads every day. I did that for three-and-a-half years straight, and over time, the pipeline ballooned. Today, we apply the same system. My entire team across all of our locations still follow the five qualified seller leads a day. We call it the “proven path.”
It’s proven because the number of seller-nurture leads an agent generates almost always predicts the number of closed deals they have on a monthly basis.
A Lead Is Not a Nurture
What is the difference between a seller nurture and, say, a lead? Glad you asked. In real estate, people talk about leads. Leads could be anything. Expired listings, for sale by owners, internet leads, or referrals. But no matter the source of the lead, they remain a lead until we have spoken with them directly and we understand how to take action with them.
Early on, I decided I needed a better way to determine who I was going to reach out to. There’s nothing more demotivating than calling on contacts that aren’t ready to sell. So, I came up with my own criteria to qualify a lead into seller-nurture status. They had to meet five criteria points around motivation, timeframe, willingness to switch agents, follow-up, and contact information.
My Five Criteria to Qualify a Lead into a Seller Nurture
- Willingness to switch agents/choose me
- Follow-up call time set
- Contact information
Success Secret #2: A Strong Seller Pipeline Will Organically Grow Your Buyer Business
The more you grow your seller business, the more you’ll grow the buyer side. If you took anything away from the first secret, it should be this: The number of nurtures you add to your pipeline on a daily basis not only needs to be consistent, but consistently growing as well. This is the singular metric that you should be tracking. It’s the number that boosts your appointments, your listing appointments, your clients taken, and ultimately, your closings. The quality and quantity of your pipeline is your business. The more you grow your seller business, the more you’ll grow the buyer side.
Success Secret #3: Demonstrate a Clear Value Proposition
There are a million agents, and all of them are offering the same thing … trust and service. In order to stand out, you have to figure out how you can offer something that no one else is offering.
We focus on a specific type of customer; the type of seller that needs to buy a home before they sell their existing one. The term contingency is often used. We give our clients access to cash and the certainty in knowing where they’ll be moving before they list their home. Our service and reputation in the market are great, but we know our clients are looking for something else today. When we look at our competition, there are a lot of noncommittal business models that are focused on the no-hassle side of the business. These companies offer that no-hassle digital customer experience and attract a ton of business. But, not everyone is looking for that exact experience – though I can model certain aspects of my customer experience on the need or challenge the client is looking to solve.
So, where do you start?
The best place, as I said, is to look at your customers’ pain points. Identify that pain point that you can solve with your own resources. You’re not going to be able to solve every issue. So, it’s important to look for partners to solve other pain points – but be the connector to that solution. This adds to your unique value proposition without detracting from your core competency or distracting you and your team from what matters most to drive the business forward.
About Tim Heyl
Tim Heyl is the ambitious founder and leader of the Heyl Group. Since 2009, Tim has grown his team to become one of the preeminent real estate teams in Austin. The Austin Business Journal awarded The Heyl Group the number one team for the “2015 Residential Real Estate Awards” for the team’s 2015 gross sales totaling $107 million.
Heyl's commitment to his clients and his business has earned him international recognition as one of the innovative leaders in real estate. The Heyl Group was recently named at one of the fastest growing businesses by Inc 5000. The team has expanded its operations to service the San Antonio market and recently opened the Dallas and Houston markets.