6 Areas to Expand and Maximize Your Business


Lars Hedenborg: How about some specifics around the division of labor, you know, what you put on your admin? What did you focus on? How did you divide the world?

Thomas Elrod: I hired Mimi part-time, which shame on me. I said, "Mimi, I’ll hire you 20 hours a week." Well that literally made it a week, 2 weeks, and then you came on full-time? And basically, I took everything off my plate. When I say everything, she didn’t cut my grass, but I mean, it was literally like bills, drying cleaning, everything I could possibly take off except getting on the phone, kissing babies, and shaking hands and being out there.

That’s what we did. She took everything off the plate. I started reading and getting more into real estate and realized it was a contact sport, that I’m supposed to be James Bond 007. I need to be James Bond 0014, double as good as 007. One of my biggest challenges was everyone knew me for the car business. Everyone knew to go to Thomas about buying a car. I mean, 13 to 32 years of age, that’s what they know you for and you’re on television, commercials, in the newspaper, on the radio. They heard all of that.

So to dissociate myself, it was difficult for myself, even to get rid of the pride and the ego. I just lost everything and I had to start all over again. That was very tough, but it is such an awesome feeling now. You know, I took everything off I possibly could. I wrote down what I did in my entire day and took everything off except for just really doing the 3 Cs: creating, converting, and closing.

Prospecting, presentations, and price reductions -- the 3 Ps. That’s what I did. I realized my dollar-producing activities were where I needed to be. We continued to do that at a higher level. In fact, I was sharing with Lars last night, we hired a Field Coordinator for our team. All she does now is literally, she services and takes care of all of our team members and delivers our listing packets to the door before we go on the appointment.

But she takes Ryan’s dog, she takes them and walks them. She picks up dry cleaning. She goes to grocery stores. You name it. Someone needs a check deposited. Instead of someone leaving the office, they can make a few extra phone calls and a few extra thousand dollars while we send our Field Coordinator to deposit that check. We’ve really started dialing in what our time is worth and where we need to best use that time. 

Lars: Yeah, that’s a big takeaway for me. I mean, it’s funny. Someone can disappear for the day, for a couple of hours, and they’re not committed.

Thomas: And now they don’t have an excuse. I was sharing with Lars last night, they can’t come to me and say I need to run to Jiffy Lube to get my oil changed. I say, no you don’t, give your car to Emily and she’ll drive it over there. I have her insured to the nth degree. She’s very insured and trustworthy. Everybody loves her. She’s sharp. She’s good as gold, so there’s no excuse why you can’t be doing the 3 Cs and Ps of real estate. They’re doing a disservice to their families, teammates, friends, their clients, by not being there focusing on business. You can get lost out there picking up the dry cleaning and going to the grocery store.

Lars: I think a big takeaway is that you need to have those conversations with your people about their time and really unpack. That’s where as team leaders, we feel like, we can’t get into it with them, but you have to be able to dissect their day and see what they’re doing with their day. It’s funny that I hired Tia and within 2 weeks -- I hired her part-time and in 2 weeks, she told me she had to come on full-time. As entrepreneurs, we’re like, you can definitely do it in 20 hours a week. And it’s like a 60 hour a week job.

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