When most people first become real estate agents they are probably not thinking about how they are going to get out of the business. They are thinking about how much money they are going to make once they get started and not how much they are going to make when it is time to get out. However, if you are not thinking about where you are going, will you ever get there? Probably not. You will most likely wander this way and that and then when it comes time, you will realize that because you did not plan ahead, you do not have a plan for making your exit.
Regardless of where you are at right now in your real estate career, whether you are in your first year or a 20 year veteran, now is the time to plan your exit strategy. How many people do you know that have been able to retire from real estate and actually sell their business for any substantial amount of money? I would guess very few, if any. Why is that? A successful real estate professional should be able to sell their list of clients and business just like any other professional.
Anyone that has been in this business for at least 3 years should have a list of clients that they have worked with. This is a salable asset. However, there is no guarantee that your clients are going to be willing to work with whoever it is that buys your business. So what you will most likely do is sell your list of clients for a minimal amount of money or someone will give you a referral fee for anyone that does decide to do business with them. That is not an exit strategy.
Now, what if instead of just being able to show them a list of every client that you ever had, you could also show them how you got those clients? What if you could show them your "book of business"? What if you could show them how much money you made each year and exactly how you made it?
Now you would have something to sell. Now you would have something worth more than a 20% referral fee.
Your book of business should include your list of clients, your marketing strategies and materials, the results from those ads and therefore should show how your success can be duplicated. The key to creating your book of business is tracking everything you do.
One of the best ways to do this is with ad tracking technology like a call capture hotline. This is one of the hidden benefits of these systems that are generally just used for lead generation. With a call capture hotline that also includes ad tracking you can easily track all of your ads that you run and the responses that they elicited. The system will capture each caller that comes in, record their name, address and phone number, follow them through your system, tell you which extension they came to (and therefore the ad that elicited the response), and many times record whether or not they left a message or asked to speak to you.
This is powerful stuff. Now you can have reports that show how many leads each of your successful ads generated, how many of those leads turned into clients, and the name and phone number of every person that responded to those ads. Combine that with the actual marketing materials you used and your list of clients and now you have something.
You have your book of business. This can be duplicated. This is a salable asset. This is an exit strategy.