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As a 36-year veteran of selling real estate, more than 20 of which were spent running a team and more than 15 spent coaching, this is a question I hear quite a bit. Bottom line: It’s not comfortable or convenient to run your business with operational excellence, or to even move in that direction.

Let’s be frank, shall we? Mediocrity is comfortable. However, the most amazing things happen outside of our comfort zone. Yet even knowing that, we tend to continue moving in the direction of comfort and mediocrity.

Here are a few tips to break through mediocrity and achieve operational excellence:

  1. Ask for support and seek wisdom. With so many experts surrounding us, we just have to learn to ask. Asking puts us in an uncomfortable position because of what we believe others will think about us just for asking. Enough! Look around conventions, meetings, events and classes, within your own town and among other members of your associations. Who is doing it the way you want to? Who seems to be running smoothly and effortlessly? Who can you take to lunch? Did you know that even the highest producers ask those with more wisdom and experience in other areas out to lunch to pick their brains? If they can do it, so can you.
  1. Start with some simple ideas. For instance, organize your database in a user-friendly CRM. If you’re working alone, don’t do these duties while you’re seeking business. Instead, do them before 9 a.m. or after 8 p.m. Find out which apps, including email, calendar, scanning, DocuSign, PDF signing apps, etc., will help simplify your day. Having incoming leads automatically sent to your CRM—and then automatically sent an introductory email from you—is a basic system in real estate today, and, yet, most agents aren’t using it. A simple tool like this will take the place of hours of work.
  1. Don’t overspend early on. I’m using RISMedia’s ACE (Automated Content Engagement) to help with operational excellence as it relates to social media. With a super low price and huge upside benefit, it’s something I’ve been saying for years that I would get handled. Remember: There’s someone to handle almost anything you can think of. Just make sure you keep your ROI in mind when spending.
  1. No more waiting. Start today by asking yourself the No. 1 thing you need handled right now to help you grow your business dramatically. Chances are there’s an app for it.

Let this article be a way of starting you on the path. Open your mouth, ask for help, keep your eyes and ears open, and be alert. Solutions are everywhere. Here’s to your systematic growth in operational excellence, taken one step at a time.

Rick Geha of The Rick Geha Real Estate Team began his real estate career at age 22 and has been selling for over 36 years and has run, managed or owned real estate offices for the past 23 years. Over the past 15 years, he’s led more than 1,000 classes and workshops throughout the U.S. and Canada, in addition to presenting keynote addresses to thousands of professionals from all industries and walks of life. Geha is currently a coach with Workman Success Systems. Contact him at

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