I never thought I'd get "into sales."
Well, here I am, sort of. A bit of entrepreneur, a bit of a neurotic tech-lover stuck in the Deep South. I say "sort of" because I don't really "sell" anymore, I'm more of a guide in real estate, and I like that.
Let's talk about it why it's unconventional that I make a living helping people make the biggest financial decision of their lives.
Enter 12-year old me. If there is anyone who should not be "in sales" (or whatever that means) you can pick me last for your team because here is my bio:
- Knees: Larger than thighs
- Glasses: Check
- Asthma: Check
- Razor Sharp Elbows: Check
- Style: I have two sisters that beg me to not "wear that." Both frequent the Homecoming Court.
- Interests: Science Fiction, reading, not sports.
- Braces: Check
- Jean Material Headgear: CHECK.
Superpowers: Hiding due to lack of friendships.
Here's the catch: I was self-aware after years of observing how normal people work and realized I lacked one essential skill - confidence that stems from the ability to talk to people.
Fast forward to Clemson University a few revolutions of our planet later and I'm in engineering school.
With no social skills.
So I do the first thing that every self-respecting introvert hell-bent on sitting in corners and thinking does:
Start a business selling books door-to-door* during my summers when I should be riding my bike.
It was the epitome of a lean business, I bought the products and handled all aspects of inventory, orders, delivery, and customer service. I talked to 12,000 strangers, sold $250,000 of product, and profited (after expenses) over $100,000 in 12 months.
This was before I graduated college.
Needless to say, I was not afraid to talk to people anymore. Talk about trial by fire. After re-adjusting to normal life with a set of decent social skills, I sold medical devices, got involved with some fantastic startups, and generally fell on my face lots. I went from making tons of money one year to struggling the next.
*At this point, I lost the glasses, braces, headgear, and my thighs were bigger than my knees. #lifegoals. My sisters and wife still shop for my clothes.
Then I found the Haro Group.
THE HARO GROUP: THE FASTEST GROWING REAL ESTATE TEAM IN THE USA
For every person that is hired on my team, we turn away about 40. It took me nearly 6 months to get hired, and I had a killer resumé. People apparently love us or hate us because we hustle. Everyone is cool like the kids in high school who had girlfriends and played football. The only difference is that everyone is cool like Steve Harrington in Stranger Things (after he stops being an arrogant jerk).
Our team is on pace to sell about $80 Million dollars of real estate this year, and we are going to spend it all on a private jet and cruise around until we run out of fuel then get back to work for next year.
So, as someone who did not want to or try to "get into sales" how is it working out?
- Not as good as I hoped
- Better than I hoped
#1 comes from me a bit behind on my goals, AKA stuff that must happen to make me feel like I'm not wasting my time. My business rests on my ability to generate business (exciting? terrifying?),
Want to see how much I made so far in my first year running my own business? (*This is technically March-October, an 8-month period, so that's why I put "Better than I hoped.")
This means I've helped 26 people buy a home (2 are still sitting in a file waiting to be processed.)
Net commission: What our office gets paid = $138,813.00
Agent Commission (me): ~40% = $55,525
Taking out expenses for, licensing, continuing education, coaching, fuel, Spotify Premium subscription, computer, flat fee to Keller Williams, Bodyguard salary, and MLS fees: $38,525
I've made $38,525 after expenses – so far.
Since I put some really fun Facebook ads together and started hosting a First Time Homebuyer Class, my business has tripled. I'm on track to sell 36 homes*, which is my goal for the year. My goal was to make marketing fun and accessible, and I learned quite a bit.
*The average agent sells about 5-7 a year.
This means I'll net (before taxes) about $55,000.
I like talking about money because nobody else does and plenty of my friends have no idea what I do and they probably worry, secretly thinking I'm borrowing money from my mom on the side. Not true.
I discovered that real estate marketing is really insipid and the average agent looks like this:
I mean, 99% of real estate agents "Specialize" in relocation, foreclosures, helping soccer moms, downsizing, jillion dollar properties, short sales, and being excellent church ladies. All at once. That's not a unique value proposition. There's nothing wrong with them, I'm sure they are good at what they do. They just do not do a good job of marketing because...
nobody knows what real estate agents do and why it's important to hire a good one.
Not only do I specialize working only with buyers, 80% of my business now comes from first time homebuyers. I'm the only agent in the entire Greenville area who educates people on what it's like to buy their home before they make the leap of faith (cue the eagle sound from Assassin's Creed).
I've also experienced some great ups and downs negotiating for clients. It's great to be 100% on the side of the buyer and worry only about their well being. This means to have a fiduciary duty to a client. I like being on a team that shows us how to best represent our client, saving them money, fighting for them. It's great.
Working on the fastest growing team means we have had a fiduciary relationship with 400 clients year to date in 2016.
This means we have helped 400 people so far with likely the largest financial decision of their life. Wow.
So, what's it like to work on the fastest growing real estate team in the USA?
David is a REALTOR®, New Homes Buyer Specialist, author of the only new homes website in the Upstate of South Carolina.
Are you buying a new Upstate SC home in the next 3-6 months?
Call or text: 864.416.4505 | firstname.lastname@example.org