I don’t think it’s a secret that it’s hard to build a team or a business. And yet, all too often, I see well-meaning entrepreneurs going full steam ahead, then crumbling and burning.

Make no mistake: to be successful in business, you need that drive, determination, and attitude, but you also need clarity, consistency, and determination to play the endless game.

As a visionary, entrepreneur, or business leader, the last thing you want is someone to tell you what you want to do. Believe me, I understand! But when we hide from the truth, we are only doing ourselves a disservice.

Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz and author of The Difficulty of Tough Things: Starting a Business When There Are No Easy Answers wrote, “Hard things are hard because there are no easy answers or recipes. They are difficult because your emotions are at odds with your logic. They are difficult because you don’t know the answer and you can’t ask for help without showing weakness.

Hope to help you a little here. First, asking for help is not a sign of weakness (sorry Ben!). It can show your lack of knowledge or experience in a particular area, but both can be fixed. But only if you ask the questions to get the help you need.

Second, there are a lot of people who have built very successful real estate teams and businesses. Let them show you the way. Most importantly, you need to stay as centered and neutral as possible, without letting your emotions interfere with the difficult decision you need to make.

It’s true, sometimes there aren’t easy answers for you and your current situation, but making those tough calls and looking the truth in the eye is what will separate you from your competition. Are you considering building a real estate team? Here are five hard truths you need to face before you begin.

1. At some point, your sales agents will earn more money than you

Think of your business as an NBA team. Who earns the most money? The players, right? They are your sales agents. Coaches and team owners? They may not earn as much annual income from home.

In fact, the owner of the team may even invest large sums of money or suffer a loss for a few years. But they are building something bigger than them. They are engaged in the long game.

To truly build a real estate business (not just a sales team), you can’t get addicted to the income you earn as a real estate agent. It can be a lot of money and a great career choice. But there is a difference between being a CEO or business owner and a real estate agent.

One is not better than the other; They are just different career paths. As a business owner, you will need to decide how much annual income works for you and your family (preferably less than your means), so that you can start investing the rest in the business, in people, and in failures. that you will inevitably do as you grow your business.

You will have to put your ego aside. Yes, some of your agents may earn more than you, maybe for a while. But it must be more than money. You must be driven by the desire to build, create, lead, and work when and where you want. If you approach it from that perspective and stay the course, you will be rewarded in many ways, financially being one of them.

2. You won’t be able to control everything

This can be hard to swallow for determined (or stubborn), independent, laser-focused entrepreneurs. But letting go of control is what turns you from entrepreneur to business owner.

You will need to allow other agents to work with your clients. You will need to hire people to oversee your finances, marketing, and operations. You will need to delegate decision making to trusted members of the team. You will need to say “no” to many meetings and requests and say “yes” to just a few high impact projects and responsibilities that only you, as CEO, can take on.

It will be scary at first. Your team members will make mistakes and make decisions that you might not necessarily make. This is where your leadership skills are developed and where your team ultimately thrives.

Correct course. Help them understand your thinking and how you would have handled the situation and keep moving forward. But don’t take back control! This will be your first response. Better to do it yourself, right? Wrong!

The only way to really grow and build a business is to go through other people and if you are not willing to fail because of their mistakes, you and your business will be stuck on some level forever.

3. Learning to lead and succeed through others will be your biggest challenge.

Speaking of which, investing in people will probably be your biggest challenge when building a team or a business. You are not only investing money, you are also investing your time (with the possibility that this may not work).

You are also investing your confidence in the fact that the people you lead will treat your business with the same care and respect as you. Our businesses are our babies, and it’s not easy to hand that over to someone else.

This is why people are the most important investment you can make in your business, and one of the most difficult. You lose control. You can’t just turn on your internal drive and do it. You have to learn to channel this energy and experience into teaching others how to get the sale, handle a deal, set up a marketing campaign, negotiate a deal, etc.

As the old saying goes, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.” Teach a man to fish, and you will feed him all his life. This also applies to your business. You can either be the one handing out fish all day (which seems exhausting) or the person teaching your team to fish.

You can be the one to help them get so good at it that they have a huge stash, donate fish to the local community, and start innovating on what to do with fish because they have so many. . This is what succeeding through others really looks like. It helps them and it helps you.

However, this requires a commitment to leadership. Study the principles of leadership, implement communication channels and cadences to express the vision each day, listen to and read leadership books and podcasts, practice leadership in every conversation, attend leadership classes and, above all, go first. It’s a challenge that never ends.

4. You have to slow down to speed up

Do you feel the need to go fast? I certainly did for a good part of my career. Nothing was ever done fast enough and I wanted to keep accomplishing more and more in shorter time frames.

Now I think a healthy sense of urgency is a good thing; It advances projects and businesses. However, to actually start a business, you have to slow down and build a solid foundation – a foundation of systems, models, and processes.

Additionally, as a leader, you need to slow down and master how to attract, recruit, and hire talented people into your organization. You can actually go a little faster if you have the right team members in place. But that’s because they’ll slow down to build the foundation for you.

It can be frustrating to have to shut down and repair systems or build them from scratch. Yet, this is again what separates companies that can grow, evolve, and withstand the test of time from those that heat up and run out.

Often times in real estate I see that a team or a business is built around the chief agent / CEO. For example, a deal coordinator who knows how much the primary agent enjoys managing their clients or a few assistants who are there just to serve the primary agent. These are great leverage points, but it’s not a business. If you remove this chief agent, there is no business.

When you start building a real estate team / business, think about what it would be like if you weren’t doing any production. Build your systems and models around it. Stronger? Yeah. Does it take longer? Probably. But then it lets you work at the company (global strategy, recruitment and commercial partnerships) and join in the company when and where you want.

5. It will take you 5-7 years to build a sustainable and successful business.

Patience, young grasshopper. One of the hardest truths about building a team or a business is that it takes years! Years of trial and error, starts and stops, building and creating and iteration, hiring and firing, lightning days and long sleepless nights.

Starting a business is not for everyone. In 2019, the start-up failure rate was 90%, and 21.5% of startups fail in the first year, with 30 percent failure in the second year. These are hard truths.

According to Investopedia, if you don’t want to be in that 20%, you need to set clear goals, know your market and consumers, love your job, and don’t give up. I think this last point is so important. Building a team and a real estate business is difficult. Period. It will take at least five years to really start seeing the fruits of your labor and feeling the freedom that you were probably looking for in the first place.

Sounds like fun, right? It is! When you embrace wrestling and find joy in the tough, not only will you outlast your competition, but you will achieve the freedom and fulfillment that you seek. Face the harsh truths that are before you. Let go of the result. And fight forward – always.

Adam Hergenrother is the founder and CEO of Adam Hergenrother Companies, the author of The founder and the force multiplier, and the podcast host, Business meets spirituality. Learn more about Adam’s Holistic Business Approach here.



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