Being a small business owner isn’t like other jobs.
In other jobs, you often play a small role in a much larger production. You get to specialize, focusing on one specific duty that’s probably aligned with your strengths, while other people take care of their specific duties.
But as a business owner, you are the entire production.
Business owners, especially new ones, don’t have the luxury of specialization.
You have to play every role, not just the ones you’re good at.
This can be especially hard for real estate agents, who tend to gravitate towards what they do best: typically the social aspects of the job.
Ask a real estate agent how her week was, and she’ll likely respond based on how many showings and lunch appointments she had.
But the business of being a real estate agent demands more than just meeting with people.
You have to ensure all aspects of your business are strong. For the sake of simplicity, let’s say there are three pillars upon which your business stands. These are:
- Customer experience
- Lead generation
Most agents will cater to customer experience naturally, because that’s why they got into real estate. They’re good at meeting people, maintaining connections and being the life of the party.
But if you only work on customer experience, you’re letting finances and lead generation crumble. And that’s a recipe for collapse.
Consider that in large, established businesses, there are entire departments devoted to each pillar.
In a Fortune 500 company, someone’s entire job is maintaining the finances. A squadron of marketing experts works constantly to generate new leads.
That’s because the CEO knows that if any of these things start to slide, the integrity of the whole structure is at risk.
Your business is the same. But you have to be all the departments.
So if you’re judging your week based on how many appointments you had, it’s time to retrain your brain.
If you had five appointments this week, that’s great! But remember that’s not sustainable if you didn’t spend time reconciling your books.
Went out on a two-martini lunch with a colleague? Awesome! But I hope you spent the morning on lead generation.
Obviously, things will never arrive at complete balance, but strive to split your time equally between the three pillars. This is the only way to ensure a successful business in the long run.
This also means you don’t have to feel bad about a day without appointments.
A day spent on your finances isn’t a wasted day. Neither is a day spent on marketing materials. These things are just as essential to your business as customer experience.
And keep in mind, as your business grows, you may be able to allocate different roles to new hires.
You can grow towards specialization, but you don’t want to start there.
In real estate, we all start in the same place: learning to split our time between the pillars of success.
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Matt Mittman and Eric Rehling are the owners of RE/MAX Ready in Conshohocken, PA. See articles from them about creating the best possible offer for your client, the importance of inefficient communication, the Eagles, thriving during your busy season, magic wands, perfecting your customers’ experience, good training, measuring profitability, routines, taking the right kinds of risks, real experience of being a real estate agent, communication styles, building an audience, and more.