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10.28.2014 Sharon Spano, Ph.D.

Are You a Real Estate Entrepreneur or An Employee?

If you’re in real estate, you essentially have two choices when it comes to how you manage your business. You can think like an entrepreneur or you can act like an employee.

Real estate is one of those unique business opportunities were people can invest very little money and still have the potential for significant earnings. Even so, it takes an entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of hard work to truly be successful. 

This subtle distinction between thinking like an entrepreneur and acting like an employee is the difference between winning and losing. 

There are a few specific things that entrepreneurs do that employees don’t ever consider.  I hope you’ll take them into serious consideration as you think about how to take your real estate business to the next level.

1.  Entrepreneurs Create Business

True real estate entrepreneurs understand that “if it’s to be, it’s up to me.”  Let’s face it, you wanted to be in business for yourself so that you could be in control. Being in control, however, also means that you must learn to hunt for yourself. 

In other words, it’s your responsibility to engage in a daily routine that will generate business.  Without consistent routine, you’ll be a slave to real estate. If you’re sitting around hoping your broker is going to make your business for you, there’s a good chance that you won’t reap many financial rewards very quickly.

Now, I’m not suggesting that your broker doesn’t have a responsibility to market and generate leads. I’m merely saying that a true entrepreneur doesn’t wait for someone else to dictate his earnings or his lifestyle. 

As an entrepreneur, it’s your job to seek new opportunities and to understand your business.  This includes having a plan for how much you want to earn and what it’s going to take to generate leads in your specific farming area.

Next, you want to have weekly accountability meetings or conversations with your broker so that he or she can help you define what’s working and where you might need to make some adjustments. 

As the saying goes, fail to plan, and you can plan to fail.  Entrepreneurs understand that the strength of their plan determines their financial outcomes.   

2. Entrepreneurs Invest in Their Business

When you have a business, any business, it’s necessary to invest in it. The top producers in real estate understand this, and they don’t wait until they generate significant amounts of money before they do so. 

This doesn’t mean that you have to invest money that you don’t have. What it does mean is that you should have a specific marketing plan that you can build upon as your business develops and grows. 

Your investment, large or small, should be directed toward specific marketing materials, attendance at conferences, appropriate business attire, training and development, or updating your website. The list can be as large or as small as you need it to be. If you’re just starting out, your investment may be in sweat equity, e.g., attending chamber meetings or knocking on doors. 

Develop a precise and consistent marketing strategy that is appropriate to your budget and your market.

Whatever your strategy, be sure to focus on ways for your prospective clients to come to view you as the market expert. 

3.  Entrepreneurs Seek Broker Counsel But Don’t Give Up Control

As the owners of Engel & Volkers in Winter Park, we want to help our agents have the life they’ve always dreamed about.  Our broker is available to offer real estate advice and counsel, but we also want to ensure that our advisors have control over their own businesses and their life.

Our commitment is to help our advisors develop skills that will ensure profitability.

The easiest way to have a profitable business and still have a balanced life is to develop the business and marketing plans as I’ve described them above.

Your business and marketing plans don’t have to be complicated or overwhelming.  They just have to be meaningful and specifically linked to your personal and professional goals. Think of your broker as the coach that guides you along the way. 

At Engel and Volkers, Winter Park, we’re working hard to create an environment of personal and professional excellence for our real estate advisors.  We’re building a team of elite professionals who are committed to making a difference in our community.  After all, buying and selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions most people ever make. You want to be the type of advisor that can offer your clients the best possible service and attention. 

Learn to think, plan, and execute from an entrepreneurial spirit. I think you’ll find that when you do, the listings will come much easier, and the dollars will follow. The greatest news yet is that you will be able to service your clients with clarity, integrity, and the intentional desire to ease the stress so often associated with buying or selling a home or commercial property. 

Published by Sharon Spano, Ph.D. October 28, 2014