At its core, real estate is an entrepreneur’s dream, and not just for investors or developers. Agents themselves enjoy incredible freedom to build their businesses as they see fit, facing bigger risks than most professions, but also greater potential rewards.
This is multiplication. If you can get five people doing the same business as you, then that’s more money than you’re making.
— LEE ADKINS
Yet in an industry like real estate, making the leap from agent to leader presents unique challenges. Will you go independent, or join a franchise? Form a team, or start a new brokerage? Who will you hire, and in what roles? The diversity of business models out there shows that there’s no right answer to any of these questions.
For Lee Adkins, however, one thing is clear: the key to building a great team or brokerage is understanding that you can’t do it alone, nor should you.
After several years in production as a real estate agent, Lee gave up selling to manage a real estate team full time. Under Lee’s guidance, the Atlanta Sold Sisters doubled their revenue in just two years. Today, with his consulting firm Amplified Solutions, Lee is helping real estate teams of all kinds guide both fledgling and established businesses into the next phase of their growth.
For Lee, the key to getting a business off the ground is understanding and embracing not just your strengths, but also your weaknesses. “I think the overarching premise is just kind of recognizing what you’re good at, and accepting it,” Lee told us. “People don’t typically learn to be good at a lot of things. I think if you’re a numbers guy, you’re probably not going to just become a great marketer.”
Other agents, reluctant to leave selling behind, struggle with the transition to a full-time management role. But clinging to production, Lee says, is often shortsighted. “This is multiplication,” Lee told us. “If you can get five people doing the same business as you, then that’s more money than you’re making. You’re at your ceiling.”
Still, a great business doesn’t need a lot of moving parts—in fact, Lee stresses, simpler is often better. One way to find out if your business is getting too complicated? Talk to an outsider. “I think we’d all be really smart to pull in a friend who’s not in the business every now and then and try to give them our elevator pitch,” Lee said.
Lee has helped various real estate teams establish the structure, culture, and strategies they need to break through to the next level. In this interview, Lee Adkins discusses the challenges and pitfalls of expanding your real estate business, and why being an entrepreneur doesn’t have to mean reinventing the wheel.
- Matt & Seth