Lars Hedenborg: Earning $7 Million In Real Estate, Working 1 Day A Week
Guests: Lars Hedenborg, Daniel Ramsey
Recorded: April 9th, 2015
In this webinar, North Carolina Real Estate Agent and Founder of Real Estate B-School Lars Hedenborg shares the “Ultimate Blue Print for High Performing Real Estate Teams.” He shares four core building blocks that are needed along the path to success. Lars covers how he has built a self-managed team, so he could work only one day a week, take more than eight weeks of vacation, and still sell over one thousand homes in six years with commissions above $7 million.
If you are interested in building a real estate team, you need to watch this video. Lars’ real estate team is #1 in the greater Charlotte area and ranked in the top 20 for RE/MAX in the entire country. Lars shares many tips on the step-by-step process and how to go from working in the business to working on the business.
Some of the key elements that have contributed to Lars’ success are:
- Low overhead expenses
- Hiring the right talent: virtual and physical
- Tracking performance: marketing, sales, NPS
- Providing value to employees and clients
- Monitoring/surveying customer service.
[00:12] (Daniel) Hey everyone. Daniel Ramsey here. I’m really excited. We’ve got Lars Hedenborg here and he’s a real estate coach. Plus, Lars, what are you number 14 in the nation?
[00:12] (Lars) Number 14 for RE/MAX up against some teams that are probably five times our size.
[00:17] (Daniel) Well, that’s the thing that’s interesting is that you actually only have seven agents that work for you. And you mentioned a number before that before we started the show. How many deals with those guys do each? This year?
[00:31] (Lars) We’re trending over a deal a day written so far. So seven agents will write 400 deals this year.
[00:38] (Daniel) That’s nuts. And all right, so we’re here. We’re going to it’s really cool because you’re going to basically blueprint somebody through step one through 100 or however many steps it takes and however long it takes to really kind of understand how you built the business and then what you would have done differently. And that’s the interesting thing is perspective from the top of the mountain is much different than in the middle or the bottom.
So, everybody who’s listening, we’re going to have a really good session here with Lars. He’s also going to give away some free stuff. And we’re lucky enough to have him break down a business. So tell everybody your story.
[01:21] (Lars) All right. Cool. So I run a team out of Charlotte, North Carolina, close to the South Carolina border. So we sell some in South Carolina. I got into real estate, probably couldn’t have been a worse time as far as the market goes. I mean, probably the best time as far as, you know, cutting your teeth and learning how to do real estate.
So my first year, my first year, 2008. Oh, cool. So our market turned in 2007, you know, unbeknownst to anyone that was in it. But then the financial crisis in 2008. So I started out as a solo agent at first, I look at my business in in in marketing pillars I’ve got five main marketing pillars that I’ve built out over the years.
And I think what I’ve done differently than most teams and most agents that build something is that I just go I go really deep on one thing before I move to the next thing. So it’s, it’s not jumping around from platform to platform or trying this or trying that. It’s really going deep on something and getting the returns before you go somewhere else.
So in the beginning, you know, in the early days, it was to grind out buyer leads. And I was just all over buyer regions and just, you know, in front of buyers. As much as I can get. I brought on the concept of leverage, something that will definitely talk about today, especially given what you do and the amazing amounts of leverage that you bring to not only my team but to probably hundreds of agents.
I don’t know how many clients you have now. If it’s thousands or what, you know.
[02:57] (Daniel) So we just hit a milestone. We have a thousand virtual assistants, full-time virtual assistants, placed with clients. Yeah, we hit that last week. So it’s pretty exciting.
[03:06] (Lars) And it’s funny. We weren’t on it. We were at an event and this is how this hangout came to be for a mastermind event. And you know, we were just chatting about a business and you’re like, That’s so cool. And, you know, I wish you were a client of MyOutDesk, you know because then we could give them and I was like, I’ve been a client of yours for like four and a half years.
Roy is probably easily my best employee. Yeah. And he, he had, I said, I mean, I’ve got killer employees, but he, I mean, the one thing and just a quick plug on just leverage in an outsourcing arm that the cool thing about not just that you arbitrage or the financial arbitrage in going to a different country to get support but it’s just a totally different work ethic.
So I mean, I can’t in the early days when I was in contact with my VA, there’d be days where I heard like a chicken in the background or like you know, it was loud. And I’m like, Roy, what’s going on over there? He’s like, Well, you know, Mr. Lars, we had a typhoon come through yesterday and the electricity is out in my house and I had to come to a local restaurant and I’m in their kitchen and I’m like, you know, if it even there’s a risk of snow, you know, my office shuts down for a week and, you know, days and all of a sudden they’re not productive.
So, you know, that’s one just huge benefit that you just get a workforce and a labor force when you go offshore. So kudos to what you do and the mission you have.
[04:36] (Daniel) What do they do for you? Just so I mean, just so people know, like how you implement them.
[04:41] (Lars) And so I have both of them are well, one of them is like Roy in marketing, mainly listing marketing and listing coordination. He does everything in the market in the listing, onboarding, bringing new listings on board, and servicing listings that we don’t have to do locally. So Kara, who’s our listing client care coordinator, she’s able to elevate what she does in terms of client contact and making sure clients are happy.
And a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff happens. He does weekly seller reports. He does, you know, making sure they’re there on every website orders, home warranties, anything that someone can do anywhere he does and he’s integrated into our processes. So, you know, he’s just part of the team and awesome. And then we’ve got Leah, who’s been I think she’s been with me for over three years now.
She helps more on the actual marketing our listings. So we do a lot of cool things with getting our listings out on different websites and some ninja YouTube stuff — and that she’s really, really good at and she’s just, I joke about and I probably shouldn’t say this to people think I’m probably serious; I pass her multiple times a day because she works on a computer that is in my office and it’s on the way to the bathroom.
So when I’m in on Tuesdays, I pass my favorite employee, you know, I’m like, she doesn’t talk back. I see her working there and you know, that’s really cool.
[06:04] (Daniel) So do you have a video set up? So there’s just a screen and if you ever need to talk to her, you can just kind of walk over and say hello.
[06:11] (Lars) No, she just runs out of a computer in my office. So I.
[06:15] (Daniel) Got you.
[06:15] (Lars) Remotely and runs a computer out of my office. So she does everything through a local connection. Right. So those are the that’s the set up that we have. And, you know, by having two strong VAs, I mean, we keep our overhead probably at least 50% where we’d have to pay, you know, somebody locally. So it really is a big, big payoff.
So getting back to the early days, so it really was, you know, getting busy up our leads, mastering that one thing, you know, mastering scripts, convincing somebody, you know, they sign up on a website, you know, to get face to face with me. It’s something that we’re still good at. We still put, you know, 8 to 10 buyer Internet leads under contract every month consistently because of that once good skill set I developed early on I had I added my first local admin really.
I probably was six months in the business. I was busy enough where I knew I needed that leverage and then probably 12, 14 months later, I hired my first fire agent. So that was kind of the birth of the team was about a year, a year and a half into the business were when the team actually started.
[07:25] (Daniel) It was the right order. Looking back now.
[07:28] (Lars) 100%. Yeah. I mean, I still teach. I’m going to bring up something to kind of talk about because it’ll help us give a good visual. Yeah. So, you know, when I, when I look at my, my real estate business and how I progressed and I’m not going to go through all these this is from an intensive workshop that I just held.
And there was just a course that I want to bring up now. I worked against a model where there’s a three-step model with, you know: principal agent, team leader, and corporate model. And this is still the same model that has the least amount of risk, and that is the most profitable. The three stages to actually bring on a client care person, whether the person is if I were to do it over again, I’m sure I could leverage offshore admin through my desk better than I even do now.
So I’ll make that comment as well.
[08:22] (Daniel) Let me ask you a question, though. Would you have like and this is I mean, I get this question all the time and it’s always like maybe, maybe not, but would you hire physical first and then leverage them with a virtual assistant or would you go virtual assistant first before you as like the primary assistant and get yourself a little bit more leverage early on?
Yeah, I’m just curious.
[08:45] (Lars) Yeah, I definitely and that’s what I teach. I mean, I have clients of mine that have, you know, five or six VA offshore VAs through, through my outpost and that’s exactly what they do. They have one or two key administrators in the office that run a team of VAs offshore. Right. You know, so they get the same amount of impact and effort and output, if not more because the people overseas aren’t loafing, they’re not socializing.
Their work ethic is different. And so yeah, so, so, so this is the model. I follow the client care person and then build out the buyer agent and then divide it up into more of an admin team and the selling team. You bring on a listing partner, you transition from buyers into sellers. This is when I got really good at direct response marketing to expired.
So my listing inventory grew. That was my second pillar, you know, reaching out to my senior database marketing. That’s the third pillar that I really focused on. And then once I built up a listing inventory, the fourth pillar was yard marketing and just kind of knowing the path and our current org structure, you know, it looked a little more complicated than this.
There are only seven agents. We have one showing agent, five buyer agents, two listing agents, one seller inside sales, and one buyer inside sales. We have buyer client care, and listing client care. We have executive services. This is really back-office staff, first impressions, admin person, you know, $10 an hour and then we’ve got two currently. But if I had to do this again, I could have these two positions be virtual assistant buyer care and listing client care.
Right. It just so happens that I have killer employees in those positions and I’m profitable. The network doesn’t hurt me to pay for it.
[10:30] (Daniel) So let me ask you a question like, and this is another question that I get a bazillion times when you’re building a team and kind of going through this structure: do you would you, I mean, you did it through buyers, but would you have started with sellers and just kind of focused on them first? Or is this you say go buyers than sellers?
[10:51] (Lars) No, I mean, yeah, like marry a millionaire real estate agent Keller Williams they do listings for lead leverage. Right. But for me, it didn’t feel right to go into someone’s house with no experience and tell them that I’m their best option. You know, I don’t know. It just didn’t feel right the same way. I didn’t go out to my sphere, you know, I went out to my sphere like 18 months in the business is when I really started telling people that I’m legit.
You know, I sold 71 homes by the end of my first year, you know, so there was a partner in there. But still, I mean, at that point, I was willing to reach out to people and say, hey, yeah, I know what I’m doing here. So it’s the same thing with listings. It just I just did it and it’s, it’s, it’s there’s still less competition for buyers.
Buyers through just proximity or getting them on the phone or meeting them at an open house or, you know, you’ve got a really good shot at working with somebody if you just get in front of them. Right. And this is kind of the path and you can see my screen, this is kind of the path that I followed.
It was really at the beginning of every real estate agent’s career. It’s really a survival-type thing. I mean, we know by the end of the second year, only 20% of people that get licensed are still active in real estate. So the mortality rate in real estate is unbelievable. Yeah. You know, most agents don’t get past the Ramp Stage, you know, so what I do and I help agents do this now through my coaching, I help people go from, you know, get through the build stage as quickly as possible.
That’s the most painful stage. So Ramps Stage scales into the Inspire Phase, which is lead and exit and then ultimately own a business. You know, something that doesn’t have to rely on you every day to keep it running. Yeah. So, you know, I would say that the four marketing pillars and going deep and tracking are a why. That’s one thing that I do a really good job of tracking everything I spend.
You know, if you’re going to spend a dollar, you really should, should hope to make 8 to $10 top line on that spend because you’ve got to start thinking about it. If you’re paying a buyer’s agent or listing agent, you know, you’ve got to structure it in a way where you can afford to pay that.
My gross margins. One thing I’ll say about it, because it’s critical is my gross margins last year were 67%. And so people will say, well, that’s not fair. How can you pay your agents only 33%? It’s because we’ve got systems where we provide value to our agents. Right. I do believe that you know, my agents in my system will make more money with less risk and less effort than they could on their own.
So they’re highly paid. But it’s not because they’re not productive, like most teams.
[13:37] (Daniel) So what do you, hold on, what do you take away? Because this is a client. So it’s great we’re getting in on these and this is for everybody who’s on the call. This is like the standard conversations when you’re building a team. So the question that I always get is how do I provide value to my agents and banks?
Do they take it by, like, owning all of the business? They call them touch points, right? You have an ATM, you have a credit card, you have online bill pay, and you have direct deposit with your bank. And as long as you do it for those things, the banks know 98% of the time, if there’s a problem, you’re going to stick with them because it’s too hard to switch what have you created like that and what value do you provide to the listing agent and the buyer agent so they don’t just go out and compete with you.
[14:24] (Lars) Yeah. So mean we’ve had very little of that and even even even if it happens, it’s irrelevant, you know, because we’re so strong and lead gen and training agents to be productive that we; I think right now we have 82% of our business this year. It was actually higher last year, but 82% of our business this year we’ve written 110 deals, 83 or 84 of them were from company generated leads or are converted by the company.
Gotcha. On the listing side, 90 plus percent of the appointments are set for the listing agents. So we’re big direct response marketers and our phone rings over 90% of the time. It’s through an inbound call, people reaching out to us, or filling out a web or web form. And that’s there’s a lot of power in that. And on the buy side, it’s still really hot, about 65-70 % of business on the buy side is from leads that we generate or appointments that we set through our inside sales efforts.
So it’s owning that part of the process, the lead gen now, and also helping them through structure, tracking, and accountability. You can think agents do better than they would do if left to their own basis, you know. So yeah. So it’s, it’s really it’s a tricky balance, but I just firmly believe that our agents, you know, they’re all making more than more than six figures, which is really good pay less than 5% of our agents that our market met more than 100 grand.
Right. And so I just I know that. And so all of my agents will get more than five, and 100% of my agents will make more than $100,000. One of my agents, two others will get over 150 and one will get close to 200 grand this year.
At the right margins. So if someone’s making 200 grand in my team, I’m grossing 400 from them.
[16:22] (Daniel) Right? So OC owning the Legion is super important and what that means is its company’s dollars being spent on your marketing and company dollar converting. So you’re, you’re, you’re basically taking that away. What about the other side, which is the admin side? What do you do for your agents? It is different than other brokers.
[16:44] (Lars) Yeah. So I mean it really comes down to, you know, we try to get the right people to focus on their unique abilities, you know, so all of our agents are required to, to be there an inside salesperson for themselves. So we don’t have inside sales entirely broken out, but we do give them appointments and really warm leads.
So we got an inside sales effort that complements what they’re doing on their own but giving them the structure to do those things that that’s one of the things. But also once a file goes under contract, there’s really very little for our buyer agents to do. So we hand that over to Tia. She’s our closing coordinator. She’s got it dialed in where she could probably close three 350 buyer sides.
And we’ve got just one person. We don’t have a transaction coordinator for all transactions. We have a single buyer client care coordinator, right? She’s she has mastered bringing her resources to bear not just her own resources, but the vendors that we use. We use a handful of vendors. We get all of our buyers, you know, legitimately they have a choice.
But we say the price is going to go way smoother. If you look at use this lender, this attorney, you know, this inspector, and most of them do that and just streamline, streamlines everything. So to get them out selling as much as possible on the listing side, it’s easy because it’s just we’re so well-known in our market now and our direct response marketing initiatives get so many calls to come in.
I mean, when I look at our tracker, we track every call that comes in and it’s crazy how much business is coming in and reaching out to us.
[18:30] (Daniel) Sure. Well, you’re doing you so it’s important to understand a lot of agents are doing outbound, you know, basically legion. What you’ve done is you’ve created marketing streams that are inbound marketing based, right? So people call you those leads are they’re easier to close, they’re better to work with people who are coming to you. Those are the kind of leads that everybody wants to have, right?
[18:56] (Lars) Yeah, yeah, totally. And I’m trying to try to pull up something here real quick. I just want to show. So you should see a screen here that has a bunch of numbers on it.
Yeah. So, I think this is only about 20 of them, but I have like 30 different tracking phone numbers. So any time we get a call into our office, this company, Dialogtech, used to be called if by phone, but so I can track every call. I record every call, I, route every call and I get reports like this to see where stuff’s coming from.
So, you know, our yard marketing efforts, you know, we’ve got three signs in the front yards of our properties. Mm-hmm. Which is significant.
[19:37] (Daniel) What are they? What are the three signs? Why is it three?
[19:40] (Lars) Yeah, so. So buyers, you know, if you’re a single yard sign with your picture on it, right? The typical real estate yard sign, it’s pretty threatening, right? Buyers don’t want to talk to a person. So we have a 24 seven hotline type sign, you know, through voice pad, which is a third party service. And then we have every day Open House sign as well, which are fewer leads, but they’re really high quality.
Someone wants to get in to see the property. So we carry about 60 active, anywhere between 50 and 60 active listings, probably 2530 under contract, so maybe 90 or so total. And we get some pretty good call volume on it. So this is the last 60 days or so and sort of about 330. There are a few other ones here, but 350, 375-yard sign calls, you know, we just have a routing system where if they’re not answered by the opportunity time agent, they’re followed up, they’re there, they go out to the five agents at once and it’s an over 90% answer rate on our phone calls that come in.
[20:42] (Daniel) So let me ask you a question. Like, do you track back when some of these successfully get into contact? And then second, when they get into a contract of some sort with that buyer or that seller.
[20:56] (Lars) Meaning do we try to release the source? Do we track leads sources match back?
[21:01] (Daniel) It’s a match-back report, right? So you’re creating marketing. You’ve got to sign you know phone number comes you line that up with a contract and you say this, you know, has this many percentages or I’m just kidding.
[21:12] (Lars) Yeah, totally. So right now I can track I think 92% of my business back to the specific dollar I spent.
[21:19] (Daniel) Right?
[21:24] (Lars) No, it’s just surprising. It’s not complicated. It’s really it’s a little bit of effort setting up the systems and just taking your time to do it. It took me years and years to set it up. But the way that I help people do it is not it’s not really that complicated and it doesn’t cost extra money.
You’re wasting a lot of money by not doing it really.
[21:43] (Daniel) But okay, so and this goes to our next point. So if you and this isn’t a ploy, guys, this is just like this is probably one of those things that Lars is really good at. So if you go to large strategies session dot com, you can actually book a 30-minute is it 30 minutes? 20 minutes? How long is it with you?
[22:01] (Lars) So it’ll be just an intro. Intro to call will get on the phone for 15, 20 minutes. And really just to dig into your business honestly and see if there are areas that I can help you with the part of, you know what what I really enjoy, you know, when you when you look at this here, it’s helping people, you know, get from the ramp, you know, so that so the survival phase, that’s not something I really get jazzed about.
It’s helping people go from the build phase to ramp, getting 2 to 6 homes per month, getting to 6 to 12 homes per month, getting through that hundred home barrier, and then getting into this. This is the most fun you’ll have. And it’s some of the you know, the systems come in in the build phase, right?
So the scaling but the inspire phase is really where I have a lot of fun and visioning and, you know, really getting this thing to be to have a life of its own. And so a whole bunch of new skills. And then point, you know, when I look at our mission and just real quick, it’s not a plug, but this is the point of it all is it’s our mission is to build a highly profitable business through the use of sustainable systems and empower people in order to systematically increase your net worth and time away from the office.
So that’s what I think about when I think about my, my, my own business. I’m trying to get in. There are fewer hours a week, you know, to go from Tuesdays to half days to no days and really, truly empower people and align their financial goals with their vision for their lives and just to serve the team deeply.
It’s a lot of fun.
[23:36] (Daniel) Hey, let’s go back to the build stage because I think a lot of the viewers are going to be in that stage. And I think that’s a and, I pulled up your last strategy session, NBC.com, mostly because I think that’s your sweet spot. That’s the spot-building system. You know, measuring results, tracking back to dollars, and really kind of we call it to scale.
And you’re talking about scaling a business at that point. Yeah. And so let’s go back to that minimum, that middle build stage, and talk a little bit about what you’ve learned in the experience and just try to bring value to those people that are in that state. Yeah.
So, so one thing I want to go through it and it’s, it’s the, the, the most value I can add to anyone that is midst of it or has, has tried to recruit buyer agents. So if you talk to ten team leaders that you think they have legitimate teams, you talk about their biggest frustration and they’re actually building their team around the fact that they think they can acquire good buyer agents and they think that they can’t get the margins in line and they think my compensation structure doesn’t work.
And, you know, just all these crazy things that aren’t aren’t reality. So we I look for this is the most pain I’ve suffered is hiring the wrong people in those in those rooms. So there’s seven things. So if you’re listening to this live or you’re you’re listening to recording whatever, write down, get a a pen and a paper the pen.
This is like a whole bunch of wasted effort and time training people that aren’t going to be successful and a whole lot of saved dollars on lead conversion efforts that that aren’t going to happen. So the first thing we look for and one of the more important ones is that the person a buyer agent has to be, if not the primary income earner for their family, they have to be a very necessary income for their family and for our market.
We want them to want to make 100 grand, but really we want to give them a vision toward 150 and really understand where they’re coming from and know how how much of an impact that’s going to have for them. So if they’re a secondary income, if they’re a housewife or a househusband or, you know, their income isn’t, it doesn’t matter.
They’re not going to be driven to results. Every one of my agencies is a primary income earner in their family. I think four of the seven are the sole income earners of their family is critical. The number two is a record of achievement and they can demonstrate it. So I don’t care if they have real estate experience as much as if they’ve their achiever and they can actually demonstrate things that they’ve achieved that doesn’t require much explanation.
[26:27] (Daniel) Well, hold on. I think it does, because I’m just saying, like your achievements and my achievements and maybe some of the viewers achievements are going to be much different than the person that we’re going to hire. Right. So like what level? Like assets and money in the bank.
[26:44] (Lars) Like. No, and none of it. Yeah. I mean, just, you know, so we’ll ask questions like, you know, tell me about an accomplished moment that you’re proud of. And it could be I could be talking to a 24 year old where the only accomplishment that they were proud of is that they started a club that didn’t exist at their college and they grew it from an idea into 12 members.
And it’s still running strong and they have alumni events now, you know, I mean, it could be something like that. Yeah, like it has to be something meaningful. Like if they’re like, I don’t really know. I mean, achievement. I mean, I had a kid once you know, you want to see some fire and what they’re talking about.
[27:22] (Daniel) Okay, cool.
[27:23] (Lars) Yeah. And so number three, we’re pretty deliberate about, you know, accountability tracking and what’s involved in the position and where we explain it. And so number three is that they have to be able to adhere to the system. And so we’ll talk about their past experience and accountability and, you know, their comfort level with it. A lot of people get into real estate thinking it’s just going to be this, you know, come and come and go as you please type thing and sales are just going to happen and it doesn’t work that way.
Number four, and I know you guys know this as well, personality profile. So we we desk profile everyone we do a values index. We also do an attribute. So we do the inner metrics three profiles and we we, we do believe in and that system. Okay.
[28:08] (Daniel) So who’s a salesperson, who’s a buyer’s agent, who’s a listing agent and who’s an admin?
[28:14] (Lars) Yeah. So a buyer agent. We’re looking for someone who’s a mid to high mid s you know, we can have a little bit higher assets. It doesn’t matter so much. And then low C high scores have bit us in the butt before and hides are a pain in the ass to be around. I know it because I’m I’m a Heidi and it’s exhausting being around is is just exhausting.
I apologize to my wife at times for for being being my personality. Yeah. So number so that’s number four. Number five is is really some kind of internal drive, some motivation. You know, we’ll ask we’ll just ask them what, you know, how do you get out of bed in the morning? What’s your bigger your bigger drive? And sometimes it gets personal, you know, for me, mine is that it just didn’t have a great upbringing.
My my dad was absent, you know, for my whole life. And somehow I just I just worked hard and I didn’t want to be a burden on anybody. And it translated into me achieving. And so we get answers like that. And to me, that’s meaningful. You know, someone who’s achieved that sports before, you know, are those are good candidates.
You know, someone who’s gone through something quicker than people before professionally and in a sales training program or or whatnot. So that’s number five. Number six is, you know, we’ll ask people, what do you where do you see yourself 3 to 5 years from now? And we’ll get some people to say, like, hey, yeah, so use it. I’m using this as a stepping stone to starting my own team.
And so number six is we want to find people that want to be a part of a team and not lead a team.
[29:47] (Daniel) And it goes back to not hiring Heidi, by the way.
[29:51] (Lars) Yeah, exactly. So so really making the right hires from a team perspective, a culture perspective. And then number seven is no personal drama. We had an agent move into the market, followed her boyfriend who moved here, and two months later, her boyfriend moved in. She moved. And so we look for people that have stability, that have children that have been around for a while.
They’re a local, you know, not the flighty type people. And that’s that’s not too hard to find out. We just asked them, you know, what do you do outside of real estate? You know, so what kind of hobbies you have or and they’ll pretty much open up open up to us. So and that’s it. So I think that’s pretty valuable.
I mean, there’s if you have to develop your own screen, but in there’s a good start. You just need to know what what you’re looking for in an agent’s and be willing to, to turn your back on somebody if it doesn’t fit that profile.
[30:42] (Daniel) And not hire out of pain. I mean, we’re talking about leverage right now because that’s, you know, the virtual assistant world leverage. But biggest mistake I see is people I need an admin or I need an I need a buyer’s agent and this guy knows what he’s doing. And so it’ll be easy to add him or it’s a friend or a family or whatever.
And they just don’t spend the time that, that, that’s a big deal. Yeah, we actually do. I added dinner with a spouse and I think you would you do that? I don’t know. Maybe you do it. Maybe you don’t. I don’t know. But like my wife has a great perspective on people, and sometimes I just I want to know if the wife is crazy or if the husband is crazy because that will speak to them.
And will they order a lot of drinks or will they, you know, you know, have table manners, you know, so you just I like spending as much time upfront as possible before you make an offer.
Oh don’t hire out of pain. Yeah. Or people that I mean you can hire people that you know, but you have to then put different glasses on and actually go through a process that’s predetermined and no matter what or the pressure, you know, because I’ll have applicants be like, Hey, you need to make an offer to me this week because I’m thinking about, oh, I’m like, Hey, I’m out.
I can do an offer in a week. It’s just not I mean, unless I quit my job full time and focus on you like I won’t be able to actually make an offer. So for me, it’s always about like, you know, how crazy are they? Could I hang out with them outside of work? Do I admire and respect them?
You know, did they do a good job raising their family?
[32:18] (Lars) Yeah. Yeah. And in the real estate world, we find that like traditional sort of quote unquote, quote unquote. Veteran agents typically don’t make a good fit for our team, that they think real estate is done a certain way. They don’t they don’t get the high volume. They don’t understand that.
Yeah. I mean, we want people to want to work hard and get paid well.
[32:43] (Daniel) Yeah, that’s good. Okay, cool. So, you know, I have something here about the importance of a self-managed team. I want you to kind of touch on that, because that to me is another difference, you know, because some at a conference, there’s a guy who’s going to do 400 deals this year and another person is like, you can’t go do that other business.
You’ve got a real estate. You’ve got to focus on your real estate team. You’re doing so much business, but that’s not your perspective. And I have value and I like it. What. What does that mean for you? A self-managed team?
[33:18] (Lars) Yeah. And there’s probably two, you know, two perspectives on that. You know, so early on in my career, the PRI, the first book I read when I got into real estate was email, Michael Gerber emails. So I always had this thought of, you know, working on versus in the business. Yeah. So knowing that people had to run their systems but always having a balance between people and systems, people in systems, all repeatable tasks have to be sort of outlined and put together in a way where they can just happen systematically and get the right personalities.
And I didn’t answer the other part of that, but they’re the right personalities, the SC personalities to run their systems and they just have comfort in systems. They don’t like things to be haphazard and happen differently every time. There are people in the world, not the team leaders, but there are people in the world that like to do the same task over and over and over again.
And and to not put the systems in place is doing a disservice for those people. And your burnout opinion.
[34:18] (Daniel) And by the way, they can’t they can’t put your systems in place. Yeah, that’s another piece that is really important to understand. You can’t hire SC or CS and say, hey, build the system. That’s that’s typically something that you pay guy like you to consult with my world there’s a there’s three ways to get talent on your team.
You can you can buy talent meaning you go out and you find somebody was super successful and you pay for them. You can borrow talent and that’s going to last large strategy session dot com and paying a coach to come in here or you can or you can borrow it meaning like a temporary service or something and get the talent for a short term.
But it’s really important. X don’t build systems. You have to you have to buy somebody to do it for you. But they are your operations people, admin, marketing. They’re the ones that will do the repetitive tasks once you have a setup.
[35:10] (Lars) Yeah. And so and so. So the IMET that on versus in and now I’m an image certified coach so I have access to all their tools. So, so that was one perspective. Like I always knew that I was building something bigger and I had this vision, you know, and when I look at my org chart, I had my org chart five years ago, even though it was just me, right?
So I knew what I was building ahead of it. I knew that there was going to be sales, there’s going to operations, and they were distinct. And there was a front office and back office. Yeah. So that that helped. Having a vision helps for sure. The second thing about a self-managed company is that you need to find people that will play on your systems.
So our agents know that every week we have a buyer agent meeting and they’re going to talk about their activities from the last week. And it’s just a weird meeting when for the person that did nothing last week and they’re claiming a spot on our team, it’s like, you know, being on a Super Bowl team and and, you know, not not showing up to the team meeting and say, hey, guys, sorry I missed every practice last week when you did three days.
You know, it’s just weird at that person not going to last. So and from a staff perspective, I just don’t I’ve got one person that runs the operations and she she makes sure that the individual, the buyer client care person, the listing client, Claire person, the executive services the is that they’re all running smoothly and that they are empowered to run their world.
Right. I just don’t have a desire to get into it, you know, even into any of the operational level stuff. But to know that it’s being, you know, being being done properly.
[36:52] (Daniel) So how do you not like and this is a big I’m I’m truly curious like if I’m an operations person on your team and I screw something up, how do you know about it and how do you address it and what happens in your world around that?
[37:07] (Lars) Yeah. So we, we survey, I mean it comes down to the client and what they thought of the experience. Okay. So the bottom line is that we survey every one of our clients and those that don’t give the survey back, we call them and we hand them four for feedback. We leave messages like, Hey, you’re probably not getting in touch with us because maybe you didn’t have a ten, a level ten experience.
You know, can you just do me a favor and get on the phone with me and tell me exactly how your experience was making those tough calls? And before we did that, we honestly didn’t know, you know, we weren’t when we first started, we were getting we weren’t getting back most of our surveys. Yeah, we had some ones, you know, that would, that would let us know we sucked and then we’d have some tense which by happenstance, you know, their home so quickly and they had a good experience.
But then I believe in the early stages of our really developing a world class client experience, they were just a bunch of four or five sixes sevens in there and it’s really drilling down in those and finding out what was. And that was one decision we made to separate actually two to make up of an admin person on the listing side, take it from even from pre listing.
So they helped prepare for the appointment. Once it’s listed, they grab the file, get it on the market and they’re making regular calls, not in place of the listing agent, but they’re making, you know, customer service calls and they keep the file through closing. So we don’t have a separate closing department on the listing side. And that was direct feedback, like consistent feedback from the handoff.
Like I just got comfortable with this person and then you hand me off to this person and it felt clunky and you know, so just listening to our client and that’s the only way really if you’re not, if you’re listening to the call, you’re not servicing or serving your clients, you just have no idea if you’re doing a good job or not.
And 100% get a survey. And not not everyone submits the survey back. We make it really easy. You know, it’s a paper survey and there’s a self-addressed. There’s a little gift in there that they get even if they don’t send it back. But those that don’t send it back, we take notes. Yeah, we call them and solicit their feedback.
Gosh, really go after it. You know, if they were a one and they just don’t want to do it, tell me exactly why you think we suck, right? And nobody wants to hear that first. The only way to get better.
[39:24] (Daniel) Yeah. No, I mean, so how would you get started? Like, if you’re a real estate person and you want to start implementing that feedback system and that’s again in the build mode, right? Because that would give you that feedback required to make adjustments and changes in your systems. So how does a person start doing that? By the way, I guess if you have questions like I got a little box over here that says questions.
So you guys can actually type in here a bunch of questions for large because we’re getting towards that part where we get to pick his brain. If you have an individual question, which I love, but anyway, so how would a person get started implementing a feedback system?
[40:03] (Lars) So let me pull it up here real quick. Ours is is very it’s very simple, but it’s it’s very powerful. And they pull it up here real quick on our.
[40:22] (Daniel) Which you can tell this is unscripted because we’re having ours is pulling up slides that he didn’t have ready and just I love how the calls always kind of take their own shape.
[40:33] (Lars) Yeah, 100%. Right. So let me pull it up here. I’ve got it pulled out for me. Share my screen. That one should be it. All right, so now I should be doing a screen share.
Yeah. So this this is a1a1 page client survey. This is net promoter Score. So there’s no magic in this. It’s Google Net Promoter Score. It’s one page with a $10. It’s a there’s a self-addressed envelope on this piece of paper and a $10 Starbucks gift card and in and envelope to every closing. And it just says, we want to know how did we do to your value client?
First of all, congrats. Would you mind answering three short questions? This question here? Number one, this is straight net promoter score. And exactly. We’re on a scale of 110, how likely are you refer your friends and family to the large group? Very unlikely or very likely. Yeah. Nines and tens are good. Sevens and eights are sort of neutral.
And then below seven, you’ve got to reach out to those people and find out what you can find. Definitely. Would you use our services again? Question two really isn’t necessary, but question three we just solicit a testimonial. Yeah, we just ask their name, their agent name and, you know, 100% confident. You know, we want them to be confident in referring them to us.
And so this works really, really well. And I could I could send this to you if you want to send it out to everybody.
[42:03] (Daniel) Yeah, that’d be great. We’re going to we got you on a landing page that will attach to the replay. So, yeah, if you want to email that over, you know, the other I was as you were talking I think there’s some real value is one I think the thing that I would take away from this if I was listening is Lars measures everything and he and he’s got, you know, these different marketing pillars that he perfected before he moved to the next one.
And I think that’s a big that’s a big deal. The next is a self-managed team. But I had a question around that. What are those meetings look like? How does a person how does a person now we’re seeing your email, buddy.
How does it how does a person like implement a self-managed team meeting and what do they look like?
[42:48] (Lars) Yeah, so I was just the reason so many emails. I just emailed that client survey to you.
Have on your email. So yeah. So we have some Tuesday is the day that I’m in the office and we have it is.
[43:00] (Daniel) The one thing that you got you you still do for your team.
[43:03] (Lars) Yeah. So we, we pull it up here because I’ve got a agent training probably on here for now. Here we go.
So is it still show on my screen?
[43:16] (Daniel) No, no. I can see your beautiful face now.
[43:18] (Lars) All right. So, yeah, so we, we have a very, very thought out and we’re show it again here, because it’s easier for me to talk to you. So we have an agenda that we follow every Tuesday. So there are a few things that we have to get done every two days. So we go through every appointment that we went on in last week.
Yeah. And we review every appointment, the ones that we got, we got them a good price, the ones we didn’t get if we got beat. Why do we get beat? We make follow up calls to them to find out what we could have done differently. Yeah, deployments we have coming up, active listing reviews. So then the listing partners break off and go with lists and client care coordinator to make sure that that gets that gets handled.
Then 10:00 we do a buyer meeting. Mm hmm. So every buyer agent, they do weekly trackers. They’re tracking their activities through the week, and they present those trackers to the team. Yeah, it’s just a way that the team is accountable to themselves. Real quick, maybe think of the book Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
[44:25] (Daniel) Patrick Tony I love that book.
[44:27] (Lars) Yeah. So that’s a book that if you have any any team, three or four members, you got to go through that process and have everyone read it and do the exercises. We do new buyer appointments and showing appointments, reviews and updates, and then we talk about challenges. What’s working? What’s not working? Well, there’s a role placing fun things at that meeting.
And then we do the team sales meeting where this is positive. We’re doing raving fan reviews. We always start with positive focus. I go around the room and I ask for one thing one win, one personal professional. When we go through team results were big on. Let me know if you can see it. When I go over here, we have it.
[45:03] (Daniel) You have a dashboard? Yeah.
[45:05] (Lars) Yeah. So we’re big on everyone knowing the score at every, every, every time. So the goal this year is to write 96 million worth of real estate and the team goes to Mexico. So it’s going to be like a $50,000 trip that I’ll bring everyone in their spouses to. Like the nicest resort in Mexico. Yeah. Like total high end resorts are at 28.5 million now and we’re going to crush we’re going to blow through 110 million is my guess.
[45:32] (Daniel) Yeah, that’s awesome. Hey, you know, we do have a question, so that’s fun. So there’s always someone to do on a daily basis. How do you build systems? Is there a system index of systems so that you can show prospective staff later?
[45:48] (Lars) Yeah. So the press so this is actually a really cool question. So and not to not to sell what I do, that’s not the point of this. But we just had an intensive workshop. So part of my coaching program is two intensive workshops in Charlotte, but the one that we just had was a team building intensive and we went through a process.
It was one of the seven sessions that I had where it was your system strategy. So we went through an organizational strategy. We built out the three. You know what? You’re you’re one, three, five, your organizational chart looks like. And we went through a system strategy and generally, you know, people build systems out of necessity. So they have frustrations or challenges and like, oh shit, you know, I’m going out on a lot of listing appointments.
I better have a process to set up for listing appointments. So the pre appointment process, you know, doing comparables or whatever market analysis you do, then there are, you know, things that are more like planning type things, you know, midterm initiatives which you can, you know, that you’re going to, I can’t think of an example, but.
[46:50] (Daniel) Spring is coming, spring is coming and you’re going to launch a new campaign out because. Yeah.
[46:56] (Lars) Yeah. So stuff that you can sort of plan for a little bit ahead of it, but it’s literally just thinking about the things in your business and we have a process to do that. We went through it at the Intensive where you you know, something has to happen over and over and over again and you’ve got to get it streamlined where like, for example, local.
I can’t I don’t know if I can pronounce your name right, but if you’re going out on a listing appointment and every time you’re, you’re starting with a blank desk and you’re just putting it together on the fly, the a simple system is the five things you need it for. Every listing appointment is in a checklist, you know, and you only have to work on one of them.
You can have an admin work on four of them and your listing packets are pre-made so you can grab a listing packet someone else can put together you do the five or seven comps or whatever you do, hand them to somebody. They put together the equity valuation and you’ve got ten or 15 minutes into it versus an hour and a half like most agents would have into it.
So that’s just an example of a system. But everything is a system like the way that we run our Tuesdays and with the way we run those meetings, those reading meetings are very much dialed in. I don’t go into a meeting guessing what I’m going to talk about, right? It’s completely dialed in and it gets a little bit repetitive and I try to bring in different elements to make it fun.
And we do training and and personal development type stuff, but it’s seeing the five or six things in your business that need attention right now. So four. So our buyer system has nine elements to it. It starts with a position agreement, a buyer lead management policy, buyer package, buyer presentation. There’s three or four tracking tools and the Weekly Success Tracker.
It’s a it’s a broader category of viruses. There’s nine elements to it. So the cool thing and not a plug in coaching but you know, I’ve developed all the systems and the goal is to help them be as plug and play as possible for my clients.
Well, and I want to kind of point out, I mean, if you’re if you’re building new systems, it’s always start with the highest value thing first. And usually that’s lead gen and some sort of a marketing. And at some point then it becomes operations because you get so busy and then at another point it becomes leadership and and maybe even hiring talent.
So I mean, you just you chunk them up and something and I think you’ll love this is something that we everybody hears about a buyer night, you know, like we’re going to prospect tonight or we’re going to do it in the morning. We’re in a great you know, everybody gets together and has some food and it’s like who can set the most listening appointments or buy our appointments?
Yeah, everybody has done that. But at some point you get to so your team will get so big and you have so many people. We actually do something called a platform morning where our team will work on all the systems and processes that we have to do and it can be two. We do it 2 hours every two weeks on Fridays, Friday mornings.
First things from 830 to 1030 is what we call platform mornings. And we work on systems that need to be updated, systems that are broken, systems that may be expanded or scaled. And I mean everything from region to leadership to, you know what do we do when a bill comes in the door? So like that’s another opportunity so that it doesn’t feel like you’re by yourself building it and everybody can kind of get in into that process of, of doing.
[50:24] (Lars) And to make a note, even if you’re, you’re, you’re solo right now, carve out 2 hours every week for like Friday afternoons. I mean if you’re in production, it may be a little bit slippery with people want to go out and look at homes, but some block a time where, you know, you could stick to it every week and it’s a couple of hours where you’re either going to be working on your goals, looking at your goals, look, you know, working on your vision, but working on, you know, we call them multiplier projects.
So there’s five projects that each one of my clients are working on at a given time that once they’re in place, they have a multiplying effect in their business. So, you know, our recruiting system is a good example. We have a recruiting system that brings in like every other day we get a pretty good quality candidate through our recruiting system and we only hire like one out of ten.
So we bring two classes in a year, but that’s pretty dialed in. There’s not much we need to do to keep those flow of candidates coming in. Most people hire out of desperation, like you were saying earlier. And it’s not it’s they’re not hiring the right people. But like, oh, you want to come on my team, I’ve got too many leads and it’s and they don’t have a funnel in place to bring those people in, so.
Yeah, yeah. All right, good.
[51:34] (Daniel) What are you giving away, by the way? Because we’re getting close to wrapping up. Do, you know, remind everyone we’ve got we got opportunity for 5 minutes or so of questions. That first one was a really good one. But tell us about what you’re giving away to everybody who’s listening and they can get on the replay, too.
[51:54] (Lars) Yeah. So you mean the Strategy Session? Oh, yeah. Okay. All right, cool. Yeah. So. And I’m just for share my screen again. So, so the goal I have this 18 page blueprint and it takes it takes you through and it’s 18 pages. And I hate to say it because most people want to read 18 pages but she takes you through in in detail the this my progression in real estate how I went from this survival phase which some of you may be at some or may you be in the the ramp or the scale stage.
But how I took my business all the way from those early days where, you know, I wasn’t making a lot of money. I was excited, you know, a little naive. A lot of people drop out all the way through the build stage into the Inspire stage, which is really a lot of fun. But there’s all these all these new skills and giving up control and there’s just a you’re feeling uncomfortable the whole time through that.
And then really to get to the time financial freedom and just being able to give back and ultimately having something that you own. And so this this report is, is that progression, you know, so I think I don’t know if I’ve sent it over to you guys already or if if you want me to email it. But it’s, it takes you through that whole progression and there’s a lot of good value in there.
[53:17] (Daniel) Yeah, we have, I think we have it and it’s, it’s pretty cool. Let me hard there’s the mission but here’s the we’re going to wrapping up real quick but here’s the hard questions. Lars, what’s your next step? How are you? I mean, I know you’re doing the coaching and that’s that’s brilliant. But what where do you see yourself in 3 to 5?
And I want to give people perspective, because I think it’s possible for them to get the million dollars like what you’re and with your help, I think it’s really possible. But what’s your next? Which isn’t it?
[53:50] (Lars) It’s it’s a it’s an interesting question because I think I’ve been playing a little bit small and it’s funny that event that we were both at, I mean, stretch my thinking a bit along the lines of what’s possible mostly, you know, that I can really start to look at identifying people who can build out. You know, I’ve always built my business in a way that it was really building a true E-Myth franchise prototype.
What if, you know, you need to franchise your business to 10,000 different locations? That’s the mindset I’ve had all along, never thinking that I would do it, but I’m pretty sure that’s going to be a leg of what I’m focusing on having ten teams around the country each doing 50 million plus of real estate, plus my own doing 150 million.
So in the next three years, I’ll get my team to 600 sides to fit the average price point, 150 million of volume and then silicon to select markets and identifying right people to build up 50 million plus teams. So to have a real estate group that does six, seven, 800 million worth of real estate with the same philosophies that we have highly productive agents, 50 plus transactions each, just a different model that’s not out there right now.
Very profitable model for everybody where every everyone is doing well. You know, there’s no there’s no true, true corporate entities in these different markets. And then, you know, real estate, B-school is what I founded that I believe there every new agent should learn how to make money in real estate. And there’s not something available right now. So part of a bigger vision for me is, you know, most of what I do now is consulting with people that are have already got through the start phase.
And so they’re ramping or scaling and help them firm up their systems and get to the Inspire lead exit phase. That’s kind of what I specialize in is this middle part. But what about I could develop an online course that could get people that could, you know, systematically, you know, take the dropout rate from 80% over two years down to 50% because everyone does my online course, very affordable online course.
I think that’s a huge opportunity. And then I’ve got two young kids, you know, so I just know the next ten years are going to be ten years that I never want to look back and, you know, and and miss out on things. So it’s family adventures. And, you know, my goal is to work three days a week.
I’m working four days now. So to cut one day out, which is going to happen in less than a year and really to focus on my relationships and really making sure my kids get off on the right foot and they sort of know who they are as they enter the real world now.
[56:35] (Daniel) It’s an amazing vision. It’s amazing life. And I really, really appreciate your time today. Do you want to leave anybody with, like, a last words? Like, what’s your what’s your one motto that you run? I run across and guys, you know, visit visit our Strategy Session dot com for free thing we’re going to have an 18 page giveaway on this replay.
So if you’re here, you’re going to get it. And where would you what would you leave everyone with? What’s that one thing?
[57:05] (Lars) You know, a lot of people that I come into contact with, I mean, they’re they’re at the point where things have suffered in their life to get to the point where they’re at. So, I mean, even like divorce and health and just things that aren’t worth it. So the the approach, you know, is to is to get there with with balance.
So to preserve and improve relationship. That’s, you know, my health is is it’s never been better. Yeah. You know and so to really pay attention to the to a balanced approach to all and you know, I don’t I don’t lead with that. You know, I it’s easier for me to say, hey, I work on Tuesdays, let me coach you.
And people be like, yeah, coach me, you know, but it’s, it’s, it’s way more than that. Making sure your wife likes you. It’s making sure you get your net worth. A lot of these guys doing a lot of transactions, but their net worth is stagnant. Yeah, they’re barely even net worth positive, let alone adding 50, 60, 70 grand a month, which is possible.
[58:05] (Daniel) 98, 98% of realtors who I self-identified as being 100% realtors die with a zero net worth.
[58:14] (Lars) Yeah, it’s it’s because they don’t focus on it. Anything you focus on, like, I’ve never run a marathon, but I’m going to run a marathon this year. So I just it’s only because I’m focusing on not a cup because I mean, everyone a lot of people are marathons, but it’s just focusing on the things that matter. So I would say that I mean, find someone who, you know, who can show you the path, cut out the pitfalls, you know, help you get there profitably.
But balance where you can preserve those relationships and, you know, get younger every year, so to speak. And yeah, it’s just a it’s an amazing opportunity being an entrepreneur and and just being able to go out into the world and do it, do what you want to do versus live by someone else’s rules.
[58:53] (Daniel) Awesome. Well, Lars, thanks for your time, men.
[58:55] (Lars) Appreciate it. Thank you. Yeah, you too. Bye bye. Bye.