8z Realty CEO Lane Hornung has mastered a step several real estate businesses never attempt: expanding into new markets.
Hornung minimizes risk by choosing the right people to lead and run his business. And 17 locations later, Hornung and his leadership ensure agent success across their Colorado and California markets through a three-fold approach. Through choosing the right people, insisting on a firm foundation of business planning, and facilitating every step of the way with scalable processes, 8z ensures agent success.
Start the Process with Catalytic Mechanisms
Best selling business author Jim Collins is an expert in the sphere of business success. Collins examines how to make the leap and “turn goals into results.” When it comes to expanding a team into multiple markets his theory of catalytic mechanisms comes into play.
When Hornung discusses 8z’s successive expansion several patterns emerge and this is no mistake. These are the catalytic mechanisms to 8z’s success across the board. As Collins explains, these tactics are those “devices that translate lofty aspirations into concrete reality.”
According to Collins, only 5 to 10 percent of businesses employ catalytic mechanisms. And the real estate industry directly reflects this statistic when it comes to expanding their footprint to multiple markets.
There is no sense in reinventing the wheel when it comes to business expansion. Couple Hornung’s scalable business practices with Collins’ proven theories and you are well on the way to ensuring your own agents’ success in multiple markets.
Step One: Power to the People
The first steps in expansion according to Hornung start with your people. When looking to expand into new markets 8z largely followed where their existing team members had interest in expanding.
8z’s expansion happened organically due to their ability to train team leaders in line with the company culture, mission and goals. Commitment to training on culture and the company’s systems is key.
In the case of 8z which operates in markets ranging from $240K to above a million and everywhere in between, “the team leader is way more important than the market,” says Hornung “I think you can be successful in any market if you have the right people.
It is through empowering your real estate team members and growing them as leaders that you create an environment for success in any geographic region.
Step Two: Build a Foundation Rife with Business Plans
A business plan is vital for not only your business, but also your agents to succeed. Consider your business plan a catalytic mechanism on steroids. And the best part? Anyone can create one. The key is creating a culture of accountability in order for the plans to succeed.
If you don’t currently have a business plan in place for individual team members or your business as a whole, start now! Consider the following before creating your business plan:
- What is your annual goal? How much business in terms of volume do you want to achieve in what time frame? (This goal is all encompassing and should be broken down into specific parts. Eventually, your annual goal can be taken on in pieces through monthly, weekly and even daily achievements.)
- Now work backwards from this annual goal.
- How will you remain consistent with customer service?
- What is your technology to facilitate this plan?
- What is your marketing plan?
- What is your worst case scenario and how will you accommodate for those times when things do not go according to plan?
Throughout 8z’s daily operations, all team members are required to have a business plan. The entire company updates their business plans as needed through using the components in Google Drive.
“It’s really just holding them accountable to what they define as success and then that rolls up into a team business plan. And that’s where I work with team leaders directly on making sure they’re achieving the goals they are setting out to do.”
Don’t know where to start? Tom Ferry has created a free sample business plan to get you going.
Step Three: Facilitate with a Scalable System
You have the people. You have the plan. Now the next step is facilitating the movements of your business in any geographic location. In other words, this is where technology comes into play.
8z succeeds for many reasons. One of which is the commitment to replicating what works and sticking to it. Once you have found the right technology to facilitate your business, then it becomes a matter of moving the system to other locations and ensuring agents have the proper training and leadership to take full advantage of the resources available.
“It really frees us up to focus on the people side of the equation knowing that the technology side of the equation is going to happen … and in some ways that’s what allows us to expand geographically. If we had to re-invent new technology every time we expanded, that would be difficult,” says Hornung.
Hornung also emphasizes the importance of the ability to see your entire pipeline from one centralized place, particularly with the ISA model. Technology which provides a bird’s eye view along with the capability to see individual workloads is key.
Once you choose the right technology for your team, it is only a case of replicating the process in each new location allowing for your agents to consistently work with the same systems across the board.