Looking to Expand Into Another Market? Part VI
By Brooke A. Sines
Welcome back to my journey of opening an expansion team in another market. If you’ve been following along, you now know all of the “fun” it’s been so far. (If you haven’t been following along, do yourself a favor and at least go read the last few parts to see just how nutty an individual I am.)
We are newly Charlotte residents (from Michigan) for a few weeks now. The kids are in their new school and each already have “three best friends,” they say. This just warms my heart knowing my kids are happy and welcomed.
I’ve now set up my office as planned with my local RE/MAX Executive brokerage. I’ve been in set-up mode, making my office feel settled by moving in my photos, supplies, and more. At home, we’ve been unpacking, painting, meeting new neighbors, and more. After several tech challenges (from having to plug in my laptop computer to an old-school ethernet cord in my office to get online, to spilling water on the keyboard of my laptop), I feel like I can finally get to work.
Now…what do I do? Or what do I do first, at least? I spoke to our awesome office recruiter, who gave me a list of other agents in the area possibly thinking of joining the brokerage and/or the team. I reached out to all of them to no avail. A few said they were happy with their current situation and I wished them well. Of course, I was not going to give up. I was still waiting for the local MLS to process the paperwork to grant me access, so I felt at a standstill. In the meantime, I got to work getting our letterhead, cards, folders, etc. branded with the North Carolina team info. I was editing our website, trying to get set up with RE/MAX LLC with a second agent profile, and taking care of all the behind-the-scenes details.
In hindsight, these were all things that I could have (and should have) done in the months leading up to the official North Carolina office launch. This was the time I should have been focusing on the dollar-producing activities and prospecting. Nonetheless, it had to be done.
As I mentioned in previous articles, I’m very OCD. This led to me working around the clock to get everything for the team up and running all day, and to work on the house and getting settled all night. Bless my husband for putting up with me—we were literally working around the clock. Along with getting “settled,” let’s call it, I also had travel plans to fly back to Michigan every two weeks to ensure the team was running smoothly and for prior commitments I had on my calendar. Long story short, I was running myself down and my immune system with it. I got a bad cold, then the flu, then a bad sinus infection, then a cold again, and it went on. It was a vicious circle.
Our Michigan team had a team mastermind event to attend, I attended the annual NAR Convention in San Francisco, and more. I was barely holding it all together. My husband’s work demands and need for some travel kept it interesting, too. We were always coordinating who is going where and when. (You should see our shared Google calendar.) Between it all, we were also ensuring that our time spent together and with the family was a time to be present in the moment and to enjoy that precious time together.
It took almost a whole month to finally get my paperwork processed and to gain access to the MLS. How nice it felt to be a REALTOR® again with information at my fingertips. Boy, do we all take this for granted each day or what?
Now, I was really ready to go and “open for business”—but, where was the business? There I was, back to what felt like my first day in real estate again, all dressed up and nowhere to go. Sure, I was still busy helping to lead my Michigan team and working closely with my coaching clients, but I needed to do what I came here to do: to make a living helping others achieve the American Dream of homeownership in and around the Charlotte area, and also, to grow this team using the same criteria and amazing systems in place in our Michigan business—by hiring those that are “hungry, humble and smart,” as Patrick Lencioni states in his wonderful book, “The Ideal Team Player.” The Michigan team culture we have is awesome. We all love and support one another by holding each other accountable and in being productive. Is each day or week or month perfect? No way, but each day is a new day to write our own story and to make our own choices of what we do with that 24 hours we have been blessed with for that day.
After speaking with coach and CEO of Workman Success Systems Verl Workman while at the NAR Convention, explaining my frustration of getting up and running, he said something so simple to me to focus on that I spent my five-hour flight home writing and reworking my business plan. Verl said, “Brooke, you like people and people like you. Go meet more people. Add three more people to your database every day.”
I know this isn’t earth-shattering information here people, but it’s what I needed in the moment. After selling 100-plus houses a year as a team in Michigan over the past few years, I was beating myself up over my lack of instant business in this new market. How crazy was that? It’s not too often that REALTORS® just get their license and suddenly people flock to you. Of course, you need to meet people, grow and establish the relationships and then the business will follow. We must serve others before we ask or expect any opportunities to come our way.
So, on my five-hour flight home from NAR, I built my 2020 business plan all around meeting people, and as much as possible. (Quick side note: If you haven’t created your business plan yet and/or honed in on what you’ll get laser-focused on in 2020, I encourage you to check out Workman Success Systems and their business plan template. Not only does it guide you through planning your goals for the year, but the thought-provoking questions and work-life balance that it encourages allow so much clarity.)
I’m laser-focused in 2020 on growing my database and sphere. I have clarity and a foolproof plan of action to make it happen. Do you have yours? I do hope you continue to walk with me in this plan, and I promise to maintain full transparency with you in my coming updates.
Follow Brooke on her journey at www.ExpansionTeamMom.com.
Brooke A. Sines is a Workman Success Systems coach and full-time REALTOR® with RE/MAX in West Michigan and Charlotte, N.C., running Grand Home Allure Group, who has been in the business of working with people all her life. She is a mom, wife, real estate coach, team leader and broker. Contact her at Brooke@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com. For more information, please visit www.WorkmanSuccess.com.