How Chris Upham's Business Reached Over 30% Profitability

"Lars is about taking action. He helped me design and implement the fundamental systems I had been neglecting. Now, I'm finally paying myself. My business is profitable, and that's been huge for me and for my family."

Three years after getting into the real estate business full time in 2006, Alexandria, VA Realtor Chris Upham ( thought he was seeing major success.

His business had just tripled, and the president of Coldwell Banker sent a camera crew to interview him about what he did to become so successful. The interview was even shown at a national seminar.

"But truthfully," admits Chris, "that was one of the worst things that ever could have happened for me. It made me feel like I knew what I was doing. It caused me to not be open to looking outside to learn from others, and that set me behind several years."

Chris soon learned from his mistake, and eventually began working with his first real estate coach to accelerate the growth of his business. It was through that experience that Chris ended up sitting side-by-side with Lars at a real estate conference.

"He was kind of a legend. I had the opportunity to ask him some questions. I asked him about all these tactics, and I told him, 'I'm an engineer—I over-think things.' He looked at me and said, 'I'm an engineer, too. You're making excuses.'

"That was my first experience with Lars. He is really is just about taking action, and doing the things that it takes to be successful. And he had studied from the greats all around the world in order to put himself in the best position for success."

Chris finally contacted Lars about his coaching program after hearing about the incredible impact Lars had had on John Muelstee's business, and how John's net profits had doubled even after he stepped out of production.

After the initial consultation, Lars advised Chris where and how to cut his expenses. "My number one single problem I've had is I spend way too much. My profitability was zero or even negative most of the time. I wasn't paying myself. We went through to see what we cut could, and now, within a couple months, my profitability was up to 30%, sometimes even greater."

"I'm finally paying myself. My business is profitable, and that's been huge for me and for my family."

"He's focused on doing the fundamentals really well. To manage expenses, have a profitable business, and have a lifestyle that's worth living. It's important to Lars to be able to focus on his family and to not be a workaholic."

One benefit of this fundamental approach to real estate is that Chris has been able to implement systems in his business that allow his buyer side, listing side, and the tracking side to thrive. Through these systems, he's been able to build his first self-managed team, which has been instrumental in improving the quality of his personal life.

"Instead of chasing around buyers across the whole region on nights and weekends, my team is able to meet with these people. With the birth of my sons, my business is done during business hours. I'm not taking the time away from my kids on the nights and weekends, and that's huge.

"I had nearly burnt out my wife and our marriage. Now, I'm able to have a much more balanced life."

With Lars's help, Chris sees big things ahead for his business not only in 2015 but also as he looks further into the future.

"Much of my business plan is based upon the philanthropy goals that I have. I have a certain number in mind that I'd like to be able to give to charitable causes each month. It's a huge number. Right now the business plan I'm working on with Lars is all built on me being able to give back to the community."

"Lars ultimately just wants to see people's lives changed - to see them achieve the financial freedom and time freedom he's been able to experience. I know that he cares for me personally and for my family, and that means a lot to me."

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