News and advice
Learn how to scale from Australia’s #23 agent, Ben Pike.
As the saying goes, success leaves clues. One of the core beliefs at UrbanX is to give real estate agents the support, tools and knowledge to succeed, and today we’re sharing this with you too.
On this month’s Xcelerate session (our monthly training with the most accomplished Real Estate figures in Australia), we spoke with Ben Pike of Pulse Property Agents and Australia’s #23 agent. We learned how he went from 6 years as a sh*t-kicker in a local office to making the move to starting an agency, how he has scaled his team and his GCI, and the people and processes he relies on every day to continue his growth.
The key takeouts are below.
Dropping the ego boosts your progress.
When Ben made the move from office run-around to sales agent, his first year wasn’t great. Like many, he was given a desk and a phone and told to get to work so he did, and was too proud to ask for guidance from his colleagues.
After 12 months of getting nowhere, combined with seeing his friends build wealth, he decided to drop the ego and ask for help. This led him to:
- A new mindset – asking for help isn’t a weakness
- Asking for help often and discovering how much others are willing to help
- Putting the learnings to work
Respect the process and they will compound over time.
“There’s no sexy answer to my success,” Ben tells us. “Religiously sticking to my process and routine has led to my success.” So what does that look like exactly?
- Discipline. Be disciplined in your approach to work and focus on the best use of your time and your activity each day.
- Robotic Process. Follow the proven process. Like many successful agents there was nothing new here – Prospect calls, call your vendors, call your buyers, post just listed’s and just sold’s (see below for Ben’s daily process)
- Accountability. Be held accountable to yourself and others.
What do Ben’s days look like?
- Same wake up time at 4:45am each day
- Gym, breakfast and coffee, time with the kids
- 8am at the office. Start with a 5-10minute team meeting
- 8:30-11:30am – Calls
- 11:30 onwards – out of the office for appraisals, listing meetings, opens etc.
* The only exception being Monday. Ben blocks his calendar for external meetings, focusing his full day in the office.
Buyers are (or will become, or know) future vendors
Key to Pulse Property Agent’s strategy is a deep nurturing of buyers. Ben will not allow a buyer into an open home unless they provide their suburb of residence. Now, regardless of whether the buyer lives in or around the property or if they are from further afield, his approach to them doesn’t change. In fact, he puts more effort into the out-of-towners as he knows a great experience now will embed into their memory – and if they are the successful buyer they automatically become a prospect.
He also keeps his buyers informed, dedicating Tuesday to letting the market know what’s on, and if new listings are suitable. By creating this relationship strong, he can also leverage his active buyers to aid in price expectations for his vendors.
An example: If the vendor has expectations that appear higher than the market, rather than “crushing their dreams,” as Ben puts it, he suggests getting buyers through to provide their feedback on price. He then uses this insight to manage expectations with the vendor.
KEY TIP – Always ask buyers what they plan to do with their current property. Chances are they may be looking to sell too, and you make pick up an easy listing.
Focus your time and effort on dollar productive activity
To scale, your backend and admin must run smoothly and ideally with little of your input. Ben learned the hard way that a boost in income doesn’t come from another sales agent in his team, but by a strong admin team. It may seem hard to delegate these tasks, but you have to let go to grow.
This frees up your time to focus on key growth drivers – negotiation, appraisals, and listings.
Promote yourself and your business
Ben invests approx $200,000 per year in marketing. And he tells us again, there’s nothing sexy about how he does it, leaning on the fundamentals. He uses a mix of brand marketing and agent marketing across a range of channels:
- Social media
- Local area marketing (billboards, bus-stops, sponsorships)
- VPA (which he will sometimes boost with his own funding)
When it comes to sponsorships, he again made the point that you have to get to work – you’ll get far better results by being active at events for the organisations you sponsor.
Don’t burn out
Again, a tough way to learn, Ben found himself struggling after 8 years without a holiday. He now operates in “sprints” – taking 10-14 days off every 10-14 weeks. To make sure he doesn’t skip a holiday, he books the year of holidays in advance in October – made much easier when he has his backend team there to support him.
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