Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Tim Heyl started his career in real estate at a very young age and the bottom of the market. As the saying goes, when you start at the bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up, and his rise has indeed been meteoric. The poster child for persistence and consistency, he shares how he created a system that worked, and built a booming business.
Cultivate a Proven Path for Success
5 qualified leads a day. That was Heyl’s lead generation goal. Whether it’s internet leads, cold calling, open houses, or your sphere, it’s critical to hold yourself accountable to a specific goal “nurture” goal to build your pipeline.
Define your Process for Lead Generation and Qualification
“Rather than focusing on the number of hours I lead generated or something like that, I focused on the number of qualified leads. It doesn’t matter if they’re buyer or a seller. The point is a qualified prospect that you’ve already spoken to and put in your pipeline for future follow-up, adding to that count every single day.”
What’s his idea of a “nurture” lead? Merely a qualified lead that he’s made contact with. In the beginning he threw every new lead in his pipeline for follow-up and ended up with a database full of folks that were completely unmotivated to buy or sell. Ouch.
“There is nothing more demotivating than opening up your lead follow-up and talking to a bunch of random people that aren’t motivated to buy or sell. So I put together five criteria points to qualify each new lead and once I had that information, I deemed it a nurture.”
Heyl used five criteria points to qualify his leads, similar to the LPMAMA sales call concept:
- Location: where is the lead looking to buy or sell?
- Price: what is the price range?
- Motivation: How motivated is the lead to buy/sell?
- Approval: Is the lead pre-approved?
- Mortgage: Have they begun the mortgage process, and what is the amount?
- Agent: Are they currently working with another agent?
A Formula for Success
Heyl created a process early in his career that instilled accountability into his day, and strategy into his goals. Heyl and his team now all work “the proven path” that he developed, based on his formula for growing a business.
The formula is simple: the number of nurtures that an agent generates on a monthly basis almost always equals the number of closed deals they have on a monthly basis.
We’re totally dedicated to this concept. From it, we build a three-month plan, the four-month plan, the five-month plan. We train to it, and build our systems around it.
Leverage the Compound Effect to Build your Pipeline
Heyl knew the quality and the quantity of his pipeline was the gut check for the health of his business. Every day he asked himself “what did I do to move my business forward?” The answer had to be actions that really moved the needle for his business as a whole. The answer couldn’t include something like “putting a client under contract” because he considered that something he already had in the bag. The work for that client had already been completed weeks back.
“When I was still in production, I sold 31 listings in 1 month, but that didn’t excite me because that was business I had already generated. What excited me everyday was knowing that I increased my pipeline by X. And being consistent to that over a long period of time, actually, was what caused the explosive growth in my business.”
It’s the compound effect. If you’re familiar with compound interest, or Darren Hardy and the Chinese bamboo tree, the same concept applies to your pipeline.
Most people starting out are too wrapped up chasing a hot lead that they just let the rest of their database fall through the cracks. They don’t realize that their database of leads who are further out in the process are their future hot leads and they let them fall out of their leaking marketing funnel. You have to play the long game to drive future growth.
“I’ve got a good friend in town who I used to compete with like crazy. He came up to me recently and said, ‘You know, the difference between you and me is that we had a different definition of a lead. we used to compete against each other all the time, and I would win a lot of those appointments, but I’m still out there on the appointments, and I don’t ever see you anymore.’ He wasn’t playing the long game.”
His competitor was coached by a company that said “if they’re not willing to list their home in the next 2-3 weeks, then hang up and move on.” He was dominating the quick wins, and the 30-day business, but Heyl was busy building a pipeline. He was meeting with leads 6 months later, or a year later, and focusing on the long term.
Hire Out of Necessity
Heyl eventually created a pipeline database that was so valuable, he could use it to recruit other people into the business. Now he could hire other people to handle his appointments.
“My first year, I generated five nurtures a day. So for 250 work days, it was somewhere around 1,200 nurtures by the end of the year. And I only sold 9 homes from those 1,200 nurtures. The next year, it was 55, then it was over 100, and then it was over 200, so it compounded. In year 2, I had 2,400, and in year 3, I had 3,600. Not only did I have 3,600, but I also had enough deal flow that I could afford somebody.”
Hiring for the Right Reasons
Heyl knew it was time to hire because he needed support in adding the five qualified prospect to his database everyday he needed support following up with his database too. He knew he could afford this financially, and that he could recruit top agent talent at a large enough split, where it made sense to bring them in and have them work those leads.
“A lot of people try to force growth, but Gary Keller really hammered this home for me as a mentor of mine by saying ‘Don’t try and force growth for success. Let your success force your growth.’ Put pressure on the things that matter most. And when you nail those, your growth will just be organic.”
The point isn’t to hire an “instant team” or what you think you might need because other teams are employing a certain model. Hire the right people, and if they truly end up being the right person, they will help you hire the next layer of people. This creates an organic hiring process with a stellar ROI.
Get the Right Systems and Technology in Place
Technology has been an incredible catalyst for Heyl and his team. In the beginning it was just Heyl, cold calling and prospecting manually. As soon as he could though, he began using BoomTown to fuel his lead generation and help manage his follow-up.
“Technology has opened up the funnel so that you can basically say, ‘If I need five nurtures a day now, I can use BoomTown to help me generate the right number of prospect for my pipeline,’ and all of a sudden, my efficiency is just through the roof.”
Conversion is key with technology too. Managing follow-up, staying in front of prospects, tracking website activity and knowing when to act have all helped Heyl stay at the top of his game.
“When you’re generating a lot of leads, you’ll have thousands of leads in your system and you can’t just mine through that system manually on a regular basis. You’re just going to wait until that follow-up call comes up. BoomTown tells you who you should be talking to now, even if you don’t have a call scheduled up. Those things not only save you time, but actually, make you more effective.”
It comes as no surprise that Heyl is consistent in his technology integration too. He has woven the system into his every day, ingrained it in his process. He knows that’s the way to take full advantage of technology and wrap your business around one central hub.
Stay the Course
Heyl knows firsthand how much hard work goes into starting a business and building a solid foundation. He warns that a model is not a menu. You can’t pick and choose the tasks you want to work on or the aspects you want to focus on. Persistence and perseverance are wrapped into the core of his person and his processes.
“I want to give that word of encouragement that, if you feel like it’s hard, you’re probably on the right track because it is hard. But continue to follow the models. Get the right support and tools. Hang in there and keep pushing, keep driving.”