How Our Industry Has Set You Up For Failure
(And What To Do About It)
I go to Elevation Church in Charlotte. It’s been inspiring to see an organization with such an awesome mission grow. They model excellence in everything they do, and they’ve grown from one location to over 20 over the past decade. The reason I’m talking about this today is because I recently heard a message there which talked about how the devil uses distractions and discouragement against us.
Basically, the message was that the enemy wants to keep you distracted so you aren’t doing the things you need to show up in the areas of your life that really matter. Maybe it’s social media, watching sports, working too much, or any number of other things that get you to take your eyes off of what really matters. The enemy wants to discourage you - because when you’re looking online at social media, and no one is really showing their honest selves, the enemy can slip in undetected and make you think you are less than.
Same goes with our industry. It is completely jacked up in terms of the things that we celebrate and the things that we focus on. If you’re caught up in what the industry promotes as success, (I call it conventional success or traditional success) you’ll notice that the only thing that’s really measured is the number of homes you sell. Everyone asks...so how many homes did you sell last year? It’s a joke.
And if you’re a team leader, the lies that are out there are even worse. It’s all about the top line and what you want people to believe about you. We need to be having conversations that sound more like “How did you show up in EVERY aspect of your life?” How are you showing up as a Dad, as a husband, as a friend, etc.?
If you’ve been following Real Estate B-School, you know that we want you to succeed in all areas of your life - and not only you, but your team and your clients as well. That’s the bottom line.
When I look at how our industry measures success, you can only be chronically discouraged when you try to measure your success against people in the industry who have sold a lot of homes. Here’s the thing... they’re not sharing the truth of what that looks like in the OTHER areas of their life, or even in their business, their bottom line profit, how many hours they work, how they treat their team members, etc.
All this leads to a tremendous amount of discouragement. In our market, we are seeing agents that are getting into close relationships with i-Buyers and their average commissions cut in half from 3% to 1.5%. I know how hard it is to provide an amazing service to a client and provide a reasonable return, but you can’t compete with those margins.
These agents appear like they’re doing well based on their number of closings. Likely, though, they are still heavy in production, working crazy amounts of hours per week. I know because Real Estate B-School is actively coaching some of them right now.
It’s kind of like going on Instagram. On Instagram, it’s hard to not feel inadequate. You’re constantly putting out images that shine the best light possible on your life. It’s ridiculous. I’ve given it up, and I don’t do Facebook either - I’m done with all of it. That is discouragement. If I look at what our industry tells us conventional success looks like, I’ll be discouraged.
Teams who sell twice the amount of homes that my team does are put on a pedestal but I know the team leaders are working 70-80+ hours per week, heavy into personal production and their businesses are still only marginally profitable. The lesson is this: Be careful when having a conversation with someone about the next steps on your journey. You need to know more than just top line numbers to be able to trust who you are getting advice from.
Building a business is really hard, and it’s also really easy to get distracted. Hopefully there is a message in this that gives you comfort. If you’re going down the path of building a real business that will serve customers at the highest level, take comfort in the fact that it’s going to be hard. You’re going to be discouraged if you compare yourself to the person who built a business in a way that led him or her into business slavery.
If you want to have a business that can stand for something, you have to be willing to build a business the right way - the hard way. There are no shortcuts. It’s the “Hard-Easy” principle. Do the hard work now so things will be easier in the long run. In an industry that serves up french fries and soda, we’re serving salad and green juice. In the long run, think about what’s best for your business.