The Entrepreneur Business to Business forum at NVAR yesterday featured an accidental entrepreneur, Kristina Bouweiri. She calls herself this because she never thought or had the desire to become a business owner. She was a 100% commission based sales person selling advertising when she was offered a position at Reston Limousine. It was there she learned what it was like to operate a business. She did booking, invoicing, hiring, you name it – she did it all plus was a mother of four.
There were several events that helped shape her business to where it is today. One is when she was approached to provide a shuttle service for the National Geological Survey which got her company into the government and getting government contracts and the other was 9/11. When 9/11 occurred her business ground to a halt and she had to get out behind the desk and out on to the street to make things happen. She got involved in Chambers, Charities and multiple Boards which all helped her gain clients and not only survive but thrive.
Her philosophy of how to run a successful business mirrors running a real estate business whether you are a broker or an agent.
Here are a few things owners and agents need to consider:
- Get out and get involved – network with other professionals in the business but also outside the business to help create opportunities for each other.
- Continually grow your database and maintain regular contact with them through email, phone calls and visits.
- Get into a mastermind group of others in the business from around the country to share ideas on all aspects of the business and to help you develop best practices.
- Join a peer advisory group like Vistage to help you grow your business as well as hold you accountable.
- Attend conventions, seminars and be a continuous learner. Be knowledgeable about your business.
- Develop strategic relationships to grow your business.
- Learn to delegate. Take an hourly calendar and track what you are doing each hour for two weeks. See what your hourly rate of pay is and any tasks you are doing that don’t pay your hourly rate, hire someone to do it.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin
- Hire to your weakness and develop your strengths.
- Always look to hire the top talent and weed out the under performers.
- Be relational not transactional – make great and long lasting relationships and help others to succeed.
- Hold client appreciation events and solicit sponsors to help fund the events.
- Figure out what you are good at delivering and make that your niche.
- Be tech savvy and be an early adopter
- Embrace social media – have a blog, website, LinkedIn, Facebook and email blast strategies to gain awareness, provide valuable content and to be seen.
- Get involved in charities
As you can see, she was a wealth of knowledge to the numerous agents in attendance and it was great information that parallels our industry. To learn more, feel free to reach out to me.
Now, go sell something!