How do you systematically grow a business without falling victim to Shiny Object Syndrome? Mega agent and business consultant Lars Hedenborg joins us to share his story and his approach to scaling up, focusing on your highest value activities, and installing the systems that build momentum in your business.
Takeaways + Tactics
1. Schedule your two 90-minute prospecting blocks every day and ruthlessly guard them
2. If you want to exit the buy side of your business, set a date and turn the leads over. More than anything, it’s a decision to be OK with someone else performing at 80% of your ability.
3. Build systems and checklists for everything - systems are the key to scaling and exiting your business
It takes a lot of effort to get the momentum going. Once we got it going, it didn’t take much for me to go from 120 to 500 sides this year. -Lars Hedenborg
We started by asking Lars about his Referral Cards, which he distributes around his office, and how his team asks for referrals 4 times during the process. This has helped his team generate 35% of their business through referrals. We also covered Lars background in M&A’s evaluating businesses and how that set him up for success in real estate by giving him a good business foundation and understanding of business systems.
Then we go into the buyer side of real estate, and Lars explained that one of the key skills he built in his 1st year was mastering buyer side scripts. Timeblocking, discipline and holding yourself accountable were key to building his buyer side business. “I didn’t like prospecting, it was the worst thing in the world. But I knew nobody was going to call me,” Lars explained.
In terms of scaling your buyer business, Lars explained that the best buyer leads are yard sign calls, so exclusively working with buyers isn’t a sustainable business model. If you do choose to remain a buyers agent, you can focus on internet leads, Open Houses or even join a team that allows you to focus on buyers while passing off listing leads to a listing agent. Lars also shared that even on the buyer side, you need two focused 90-minute prospecting sessions in the morning in order to generate the leads you need.
If you’re looking to become a top listing agent, Lars explained, “I don’t think there’s a more highly leveraged activity than marketing; designing an Expired piece or a FSBO piece or putting a FSBO system into your CRM. That’s how I build my listing inventory initially. I never was much of a smile-and-dial to Expireds guy. I was always good at creating direct response pieces that got people to call me.” He also shared that weekly communication with your sellers is so critical, and how he dropped the ball in that area early in his career.
Then we covered the challenge of focusing on listings and giving your buyer leads to other agents or hiring your first buyer agents. Lars explained that if you want any freedom in your life, it’s very difficult to keep working with buyers, and you must set a date to delegate this part of your business and establish good systems for your buyer agents. The key is that Lars personally worked his Boomtown buyer leads for a full year before he brought on a buyer agent, so he had systems in place that he could teach his buyer agent (who is still with his team).
On scaling up and out of the listing side, Lars shared his process to building your systems and processes for taking listings, and finding the right person to replace you. “Not having the systems in place is where it tends to fail,” Lars said. He also shared how he would enter the business today with 1) internet buyer leads and 2) Database. Those two things could take you to 50-75 deals. Just by working yard sign calls and adding some direct response marketing could take you to over 100 deals per year. Then it becomes much more about systems, vision and leadership.
Finally, we talked about how Lars gets clarity, how he chooses which systems to install next in his business, and how he goes about installing those systems. Lars recommended a book called Traction, that really helped give him an overview of the 4 pillars of a business: marketing, sales, operations and finance. To that Lars has added vision and leadership to come up with 6 total drivers he teaches agents to implement in their business. “People drive the systems and your business is a reflection of you, but it really is a systems-based approach to business...It’s a little checklist for everything.”
So whether you’re looking to scale and exit your real estate business, or you’re just starting out in the business, taking a systems-based approach will give you a huge advantage. There’s a pattern you can follow, one that many other agents have proven to work, and they key is to put in the effort to build the momentum. Great systems are the key to scaling your business and getting big or even exiting daily production.
Lars Hedenborg is a top agent in Charlotte, NC whose team sells over 400 homes a year while Lars works in the business one day per week. Lars is also the founder of Real Estate B-School, where he teach top producing agents and team leaders the exact same mindsets, systems, tools and strategies behind his success. Learn more about Lars and the B-School at rebsstrategysession.com.
Click here to download your free PDF, Greg’s Favorite Scripts, featuring scripts for buyer and seller lead follow up, price reduction and objection handler scripts and much more.