Scale Your Real Estate Business by Stepping Out of Sales!

Picture of Stephen Atcheler
Stephen Atcheler


The hardest part of running a Real Estate Business is being able to step back from sales and start working on the business. This is not just an issue in a Real Estate Business. It is really a pretty similar problem that all entrepreneurs face in any business, and we will go more into that a little bit later. Why is it so hard in a real estate business? The answer is because of the profile of the business owner. Let’s look at how most Real Estate Businesses get started.

I would hazard a guess here, feel free to disagree, and leave a comment, but I think, in 90% of Real Estate Businesses, the owner would have started in sales. This is exactly me, as well, and many Real Estate Business owners that I know. You start in sales, then you get some runs under your belt, and you think, I might give this a crack too. Then you think to yourself, my old boss had a rent roll, so I better learn about that.

Stephen Atcheler in Real Estate Sales Reval
Stephen Atcheler in Real Estate Sales | Reval

This is where the issues start, as you are usually the main income earner from your sales. However, now, you are running a business, training a team, doing the accounting, and more. So, you will go out, list and sell, then neglect the business, or the other way around, spending too much time on the operational part of running the business, neglecting the sales, and in turn, dropping the revenue. What is the solution to this?

Well, one thing I can say, firstly, is to delegate everything that slows you down, everything that can be done by anyone else but you—whether that be a real estate personal assistant or virtual assistant. We sell VA’s here, so obviously, get as much off your plate to a low-cost VA as you can. Now, you should have a bit more time, which will help you plan your exit from sales, and I mean full exit.

I am currently reading a book for the second time, and getting some great points that I did not pick up on last time. Now, I am running a completely different business. The book is called, “Built to Sell” by John Arrillow, which points out the main problem, that is, the business owner doing the sales. With Real Estate, this is one of the key points that makes it harder than ever to get out. It is that your personal profile may be bigger than the brand. This is something we need to look at addressing.

“Built to Sell” by John Warrillow
“Built to Sell” by John Warrillow

Let’s say you’re writing, 600k gross commission, you need to look at how you will replace that income. At first, you are going to have to take a hit and extract yourself from selling properties, however, not from listing them. The vendor may only want to deal with you, and they can. That is no problem for now, as long as you’re not out there, showing homes, and doing all that grunt work. Once again, you have bought you time.

You need to go and hire 2-3 more salespeople that may not be as good as yourself or sell as much. However, as you extract yourself, you will need to pass the baton. Once you are just listing, these guys can be out there selling and getting some results. With every one of their results, you must get reviews and build up the company brand and the profile of this agent. I still believe, as a business owner, you must put the company before the person.

Anyways, you should now have some results to leverage and have had time to spend with the agents to skill them up. If you are hiring newer agents and trying to pass on your way to list, so that there is consistency, you must standardise the presentation. Now, another important point made in the book that I mentioned, is that, you must have a standardised product, and in Real Estate Sales, this is your listing presentation.

Currently, I am going through the same exercise. As everyone wants to talk to me, so I need a presentation that can save a lot of the conversation. I would like to get to scale, so this is part 1 of a 4-part digital presentation that other people will be able you use and sell for us.

Check out Part 1 of the Digital Presentation:

ShoreAgents Digital Presentation Introduction
ShoreAgents Digital Presentation | Introduction

By standardising this for your agency, you will see so many positive effects.

  • You build consistency in your brand.
  • You have a trainable product.
  • You can recruit lower cost agents and upskill them.
  • You can get out of the listing now also.

Once you have successfully done all of these things, you should now be out of the selling. That gives you 100% of your time to work on your business.

At this point, you may want to reintroduce yourself to your property management department, as they may not have seen you for a while. It is time to really put some energy into what matters. Your property management department may have been neglected, but you must get interested. Not interested in the areas you do not need to, but more in the product and the way it is delivered. As once you have your product standardized in both areas, you are ready to ramp.

All you need to worry about now is getting more numbers in, and I have two short tips that will help you immensely to grow the rent roll fast, which will build you a business that you can sell. Also, if you grow your rent roll, generally, you will get the sales also, so, it really is a win-win.

Your sales enquiry is the key to grow your rental roll. Every area is different in how many buyers are investors. In our area, it was around 1 in 4. The interesting thing about an investor is that they are really easy to find compared to sellers, as they like to puff out their chests and say they are an investor. When an enquiry comes in from REA, the buyer is given the opportunity to put what best describes them. They say quite openly that they are an investor.

My tip is creating some automation around this, making sure you get in front of this person for a presentation, as they will buy a property in your area, and they will use an agency to manage it. Make sure it is you. Set up an SMS, EMAIL, and call campaigns to get you in front of this future landlord. I had a budget for our team to take them out for lunch, obviously, if they were qualified. Talk to them about what property they want and how we manage properties. This way, even if they buy off someone else, you have formed the relationship. It is not rocket science.

SMS and Email Campaign

This next simple tip is a corker and will slap you in the face with how much sense it makes. Advertise, each month, one property that you think would make a great investment. Make a video of the property about its investment capability. Video yourself at surrounding key points like the shops or bus stop. Create a report on the property, giving the numbers. Once you have all these, you advertise the property through Facebook business to local investors.

FB Ads

Give the report away for FREE and capture their details. Now, you have more enquiry from people who are wanting to buy for investment purposes. Repeat the previous tip, and you have a very solid little system to start to scale.

The interesting thing here is, once you get to this point, you will now gain in other areas. As you get bigger, something will break in either operations, accounts, or HR even. So, this is not the end of the journey, but just the beginning. However, hopefully, now you can work towards putting a plan together to get out of selling and start a little funnel that will deliver more rental prospects than you can handle.

Thanks so much. If you got all the way to the bottom of this, I hope you got some great takeaways. If you want to chat about any of this, reach out to me on LinkedIn.

About the Author

Meet Stephen Atcheler, the Managing Director of a Real Estate Virtual Assistant Company. Stephen has been working in the industry since 2013 and has a wealth of experience in making outsourcing work for real estate businesses. He fell in love with real estate at a young age and has been working in the field since 2005. Stephen's passion for real estate and helping other business owners thrive led him to start his own real estate business in 2012, and eventually, to establish a real estate virtual assistant company to take it to the next level. Stephen's wealth of experience and knowledge in real estate and outsourcing make him the perfect person to guide you in setting up your own virtual assistant team. Feel free to reach out to him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.

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