That’s a long title but to the point.

In December 2018 our business strategy discussions focused on the industries we were working in. The session reviewed the pros and cons for each of those industries. Including industry growth opportunities, potential industry fall-out from trade wars, climate change and increase of automation. We had everyone bring to the session ideas for industries they feel would be a good fit for us as well as potential markets within those.

Our agenda included narrowing our industries focus, as well as sharply define the markets we were in. We also looked for the potential of other sub-set markets. To be clear, an industry is a sector of our economy. A market is a flexible term defining a group of customers. Then within that market define specific needs, preferences, demographics, location and distribution channels in that industry.

Within those markets, we further narrowed possible areas that weren’t being addressed. As we carved deeper, we developed a “niche”. A niche might mean if you are a professional service organization, like coaching, you would take the human race, divide it into as many segments of criteria; men, women, ages, location, needs, lifestyle, and interests to name a few. Slowly your market-focus can be dissected further till you discover a niche that no one else is addressing and complements your skill-sets. The more you develop this market-focus, the clearer and distinct your “niche” becomes and so will your messaging. It will also help you direct a laser intent on organizations that serve your “niche” to slowly build an ecosystem.

At the end of our session, we determined which industries we will stay in, which to add plus defining the markets sharper. So what does all of this have to do with throwing out our 2018 business planning in the first two weeks of 2019?


What happened?

To be perfectly candid we’ve been literally underwater and behind. All the work from 2018 had spilled into 2019 with referrals. Meaning, we built a referral machine. Nothing cosmic to tell you just hard work, attention to detail, focus on the customer’s needs and keeping our word! All culminating in building relationships and trust. These efforts evolved into referrals coming in from several industries who weren’t chosen as part of our business planning decisions.

The first 2 weeks of 2019 have been filled with callbacks, understanding the client’s needs, and then dive deeper into their respective industry. Our motto is, if we aren’t the right fit, we recommend them to other resources then follow up to make sure they’ve landed safely.


What did we do after mid-way into January?

We had a pizza party, closed the office at 3:00 PM, forward the phones and reviewed all of the new clients relative to our original business plans.



We accepted 12% of the referring clients and recommended to the other 88% to other firms we know and trust. I realized you might be horrified at this prospect. Especially if you are just starting out. We understand that all of us when we start our businesses we take whatever we can. But the time comes after 1, 2, or 3 years you need to address the power of focus. Honing your skills to meet specific industry needs. At least that’s our decision. We also believe in our business plan to focus on specific industries and hyper-focus the market niche. Perhaps on January 17th, 2020 we will share with you the consequences of our decisions.


As always in your business journey have fun and laugh!



Colorado House Bill 18-1128 went into effect on September 1, 2018 however questions and implementation issues continue. Delays have more to do with the confusion between Colorado’s House Bill 18-1128, the new General Data Protection Regulation GDPR and ongoing data breaches that continue to haunt the public sector.

Adding to the confusion or pressure in Colorado is the bill went into effect immediately on September 1, 2018 whereas California’s data protection bill for example, is given till 2020 to meet the privacy data regulations.

Which Companies Need to Be Concerned

For this article we are not focusing on government entities instead on “covered entity” and personal information.  A “covered entity” is:

Covered entities are those that “maintain, own or license personal identifying information” of Colorado residents “in the course of its business, vocation or occupation.” HB 18-1128.

What kind of Personal Data is Covered?

For those companies who fit the “covered entity” definition, they must implement policies that will ensure the protection and any potential vulnerabilities (breaches) to this data. Personal data is defined by:

(b) “Personal identifying information” means a social security number; a personal identification number; a password; a pass code; an official state or government-issued driver’s license or identification card number; a government passport number; biometric data, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 6-1-716 (1)(a); an employer, student, or military identification number; or a financial transaction device, AS DEFINED IN SECTION 18-5-701 (3).

Personal Identifying Information (PII) includes first and last names as well as:

  • Social Security Number
  • Student, Military or Passport PII
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Medical Information
  • Health Insurance Numbers and Records
  • Biometric Data
  • Username, Passwords and Security Questions for Email Addresses
  • Credit Card Information

The protection of personal data is included in not only a company’s databases but any 3rd party service provider who may also have the same data.

If There is a Breach, Then What?

The new regulations cover breaches for over 500+ Colorado residents. In this event, the company must notify its employees, the 500+ Colorado residents and the Colorado General Attorney within 30 days of the breach.

These regulations are slowly passing in other states which means if you are doing business in California, EU GDRP, and Massachusetts you must also meet those states and countries regulations when implemented.

Most Companies on Average Have Personal Identifying Information Well Over the 500 Threshold

The accumulations of email lists in marketing and sales in the last few years means anyone doing business most likely fits the profile for compliance. Which is one of the reasons for the ongoing questions. Many small business professionals and entrepreneurs think this regulation doesn’t affect them. We have found with every inquiry they “all” must adhere and implement a data protection policy. Our motto is if you want to be in business in Colorado stand up, respect your lists PII and thrive.

In summary the Colorado bill is profound in the swiftness a business must implement its personal data protection protocols. However due to the ever-expanding data breaches in the millions and the delay in notification of person’s PII is it no wonder?

Resources to help you understand more are the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Center for Internet Security (CIS). The original Colorado bill can be found here

Here you go, the top features a CRM can offer you that an excel spreadsheet can’t. Enjoy and be inspired to jump into the CRM universe!

  1. When you need to have all your contact’s information, their social media profile, every interaction (emails, notes, reminders) all in one place. Yep all there in one glance!
  2. When sending emails to your contacts your wondering did they get it? Did they open it? How many times did they open it? Stop wondering! Know. CRMs have email marketing integrated. Surprise!
  3. Regardless which email server you are using; Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, icloud, AOL, your emails will still integrate into your contact’s profile history. CRM magic.
  4. Once you have #1, #2 and #3 moving along you can now see which prospects in your contact database are interested in your offerings. Yep, not kidding. When you see how many times a contact opens a certain email from you, you have peaked their interest.
  5. Together #1, #2, #3 and #4 then enables “Lead Management”. Many CRMs in 2019 and 2020 are developing more robust lead management capabilities to enable prioritizing which client to contact first easier. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now being integrated at a rapid pace.
  6. By the time you have the first 5 steps working nicely and you begin to get more comfortable sending out more emails and email campaigns you will slowly amass an amazing amount of insights. Robust reporting is the ice cream to CRM heaven.
  7. As you find yourself driving from networking events and conferences your CRM will still be with you. Your CRM’s mobile app will allow you to see your contacts information before you step into a meeting with them.
  8. Then on the other side of the mobile CRM equation, on the go means new people and your mobile CRM let’s you enter new contacts on the run.
  9. Steps 1 through 8 are the foundations in building your sales funnels and amassing a robust automatic sales machine.
  10. Lastly, if you are like most people you’ve heard about CRMs and felt you aren’t ready for the expense. Many CRMs start with free trials and some “skinny” free versions are offered. Skinny meaning not full featured. But heck it’s a start isn’t it?

At the end of the day to select the right CRM you need to get oriented to the available CRM features and functionality your business needs to grow and thrive. Take a look at many of the fastest growing CRMs with free versions: Freshsales, Highrise, Hubspot CRM, Insightly, ZOHO Contact Manager to name a few. Other CRMs with  limited free trials are Microsoft Dynamics 365, Nimble, Nutshell, Pipedrive, Salesforce, SAP.

Enjoy your business journey and contact us for a free consultation to answer any questions and let the games begin!

If you google ‘how to start a business’ you will get recommendations about the first steps to developing a business from the ground up. What type of business you want to make, how to find your market, and a list of different ideas to get you brainstorming. You might even get caught up in the different business models: franchises, networking models, multi-level systems, influencers, bloggers, writers, sell on Shopify, sell on amazon, be a part of the gig economy, be a virtual assistant and on and on.

In all my readings, success is determined by your love of your business choice.  Simply put, “love what you do”.  Why? Because loving what you do will see you through the hard times that any start-up experiences.

How do you find your business? It starts with what you are interested in. I’ve heard more stories that future business owners want to do something that help people. I’m going to go out on a limb and say five out of seven people I work with say that often, resulting in a lot of desire and energy to help our fellow neighbor.

I got thinking and started to push back on this premise. What if instead of helping our fellow neighbor what about our planet? I could see the thought was overwhelming, which I guess it is. How can you start a business that could help the planet? Push back was intense, rightfully.

“I need to take care of my family, pay the bills, educate my children” is on every start-ups mind.  And to my detriment I didn’t have any suggestions on business models that help the planet and make a profit. If I’m going to throw something out there like that I had better come up with some examples. Which is the point of today.

I had better have some construct on how to recommend the next step besides saying “just go google (research)”. So, with that as the background that’s what we are doing at Eidesis Solutions. Researching and gathering information on businesses that are helping the planet, which may open ideas for us and our clients to service these businesses and in turn help the planet and serve our neighbors. We will be sharing our efforts.

Our first inspiring business is a company called @GirlfriendCollective.  This is a textile start-up that produces leggings from recycled plastic water bottles and sustainable polyester materials. Did you know that we are finding plastic waste in every corner of the planet from Florida to the Artic sea, to farm fields to our ocean’s sea turtles eating plastic bags? The Girlfriend Collective mission is one that merges innovation, sustainability and a commitment to the highest working conditions. Their factory is in Taiwan. Learn more about Girlfriend Collective at their website:

When is my business real? I was asked this question by a client who has been building her new
business making necklaces and selling them. I immediately asked her what made her ask
such a question? She’s been making steady progress forward.

She started making her necklaces for her friends, then friends of friends, then she boldly went
to specialty stores and asked the owners if they would carry her necklaces. After many, many
“no’s” a “yes” arrived. Once she got use to the volume that’s when I met her. She needed a loan
to expand her inventory. She’s already been using her credit cards for supplies but she wanted
a “line of credit” with lower interest.

I helped her set up her Quick-books Online account, built her financials and helped her fill out
the bank forms. For her, the process went fast. She already had a relationship with her banker
and she had excellent credit. From the moment we started the process getting her financial
foundation started to getting her loan was exactly 42 days.

We are now helping her build out her online store and getting her into the new world of online

But, I haven’t answered the question for her, “when is her business real”?

Her business became real the moment she acted on her dream!


One of the biggest factors when you choose a CRM is the ability to automatically capture
leads into your CRM. A full featured CRM will allow you to:

-Receive leads automatically in your CRM,
-Place the leads in your contact list,
-Enter the lead into a group (segment, tag) to receive personalized content,
-Each lead is sourced into a report of the most converted leads,
-Leads from referrals are automatically entered in that referrals profile,
-Alert you immediately you have received a lead for follow up by email and SMS
-All steps automatically within seconds of that leads entry into your CRM universe.

Regardless where a lead comes from, whether it’s a form on your website, landing page,
a lead generator vendor, PPC, email campaigns and other advertising endeavors they all
have a magnet or button for more information or interest in your offerings.

When we review CRMs for our clients we make sure certain fundamental features and
functionality are present. The goal of our CRMs is to build our relationships which builds
our businesses. Lead generation is mandatory in building our business so it follows lead
management is compulsory in our business processes.

The following are the top features you need in your real estate specific Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to build a robust customer experience(CX). We recommend solutions we use, our clients use and will help you build your business. Whether you try our recommendations or not, use our knowledge, our fails, our wins and our lessons learned to find what’s perfect for you!

Courtesy of Shannon McGee, Sales Manager for IXACTContact

Features to build your business success on:

1. Lead Capture

You are generating dozens of new leads every day or you will be. You don’t have hours to spend manually entering all of their information into you phone, email, or Excel spreadsheet. A good real estate CRM like IXACTContact will automatically capture your leads and put them into your database, saving you time and not allowing anyone to fall through the cracks.

2. Lead Nurture

Once your leads are captured, they won’t do much for you if you aren’t nurturing them! A great real estate CRM will help you assign lead nurture campaigns, and add new contacts to your monthly e-Newsletter. With IXACT Contact, all of the above can be automated to save you even more time while turning more leads into clients. Plus, IXACT Contact offers 9 different pre-written lead nurture campaigns so you don’t have to start from scratch.

3. Keep in Touch Call Reminders

Every contact in your database needs a touch once in a while, but remembering when, where, and what can be tough when you have a busy schedule. An efficient real estate CRM will help you stay organized and in touch with automated keep in touch call reminders. You can mass assign keep in touch call reminders to entire groups, and vary the type and frequency as appropriate to the group. You’ll never forget to give that important past client a call again.

4. Birthday and Move-In Anniversary Reminders

Everybody loves to be remembered on days that are special to them, and as a real estate agent doing so builds goodwill with past clients. That helps with retention and gaining referrals. Birthdays and Move-In Anniversaries are the two special dates that make the most sense for you to acknowledge. How do you keep track of all of those though? You guessed it, with a real estate CRM. A solution like IXACT Contact assists you in remembering these dates by automatically creating reminders for you in your calendar. So you can stop stressing about missing those opportunities and start enjoying how awesome you look to your contacts.

5. An e-Newsletter

Oh yes, a real estate CRM can help you with marketing too! At least, one like IXACT Contact can. Save yourself the frustration of trying to come up with new topics, write compelling articles, and design an email that looks beautiful each month. Instead, use IXACT Contact’s automated e-Newsletter that provides you with 3 fresh articles each month. You’ll be doing excellent content marketing without even thinking about it. Now isn’t that a relief?


Try IXACTContact free for 60 days on us; gain knowledge and above all have fun!! Sign up here


6. Social Media Marketing

If you are tired of spending hours finding great content to share on your social media – or shelling out hundreds of dollars to pay an assistant to do it – you should look for help from your CRM. A good real estate CRM is like having a virtual assistant, and that can include social media marketing! IXACT Contact offers Social Stream, a solution that allows you to select the topics your followers are interested in from top-tier publications such as Better Homes & Gardens or the New York Times. Then you can schedule those articles to go out automatically up to 3 times a day, 7 days a week. That’s what we call a game-changer.

7. Websites

Building a brand-new website can be overwhelming. Paying for a variety of software services can get costly. Solve both those problems with a great real estate CRM such as IXACT Contact. That’s right, IXACT Contact offers agent websites as part of your monthly subscription, and they come with 16 pages already built. So you have a foundation to start from, and are spending just a little of your time customizing and personalizing. And connecting back to Reason 1, our websites provide automated lead capture right into your IXACT Contact database.

8. Mobility

As a real estate agent you aren’t always at your desk. You spend most of your time in the field, and updating an Excel spreadsheet on your phone is not a fun task. Searching through old emails on your phone to find client notes isn’t either. A real estate CRM can solve both those issues. A good CRM like IXACT Contact will offer a Mobile App that allows you to look up Contact information, enter in new tasks or appointments, and more from anywhere. This in turn helps you to stay more organized because you aren’t waiting to do these important tasks until later when they could be forgotten. You gain peace of mind and the freedom to be wherever you need to be.

9. Working on a Team

If you are working on a real estate team a CRM is an essential tool to keep everyone organized and on track. A system like IXACT Contact will allow you to share contacts, appointments, or tasks with ease. The Team Leader will also be able to monitor activity and distribute work more evenly. Your team will run smoothly and be a huge success.

10. Setting Goals

You have goals for yourself as a real estate agent, and your real estate CRM can actually help you to set and track them. IXACT Contact offers a simple Goal Setting Wizard where you input your different goals for the year, from Gross Income to the number of new contacts added to your database. Then you are able to see what you need to accomplish each week and if you are on the right track to meeting your goals. You get tangible feedback that allows you to course correct as needed, or to celebrate your awesome achievements.


One night when I was trying (operative word “trying”) to finish up a proposal where nothing was going right; printer out of ink and no spare, internet speed choppy, yelling at my internet service provider again, placing chili powder in the crock pot instead of paprika and noticing the flickering of the lamp’s light slowly going out.

In my state of total self absorption with “insignificance”, my eye caught a news stream, Einar H. Ingman Jr. passes away. Who is Einar, why is that in my news stream? I admit I’m a little OCD about my technology, news streams, staying on top of everything CRM and I am admittedly certifiable. But really, who is Einar and why has he interrupted my finely tuned universe?

The answer soon appears with a search. I was so distracted by “everything” and I obviously needed an excuse to not work on this proposal, which was missing “something” like my undivided attention.

INGMAN, EINAR H., JR, an American, was a Medal of Honor recipient who passed away September 10th, 2015. He had been awarded his medal in 1951 while fighting in Korea. His story of heroism occurred while his:


“platoon was pinned down by withering fire and both of his squad leaders and several men were wounded. Cpl. Ingman assumed command, reorganized and combined the 2 squads, then moved from 1 position to another, designating fields of fire and giving advice and encouragement to the men. Locating an enemy machine gun position that was raking his men with devastating fire he charged it alone, threw a grenade into the position, and killed the remaining crew with rifle fire. Another enemy machine gun opened fire approximately 15 yards away and inflicted additional casualties to the group and stopped the attack. When Cpl. Ingman charged the second position he was hit by grenade fragments and a hail of fire which seriously wounded him about the face and neck and knocked him to the ground. With incredible courage and stamina, he arose instantly and, using only his rifle, killed the entire gun crew before falling unconscious from his wounds. As a result of the singular action by Cpl. Ingman the defense of the enemy was broken, his squad secured its objective, and more than 100 hostile troops abandoned their weapons and fled in disorganized retreat. Cpl. Ingman’s indomitable courage, extraordinary heroism, and superb leadership reflect the highest credit on himself and are in keeping with the esteemed traditions of the infantry and the U.S. Army.” (1)

The adjectives stuck to me like a spider’s web; assume command, giving advice and encouragement, incredible courage and stamina. Then the unwritten words of leadership, unwavering conviction, seeing the next step, navigating a field of death with persistence.


… navigating a field of death with persistence!


As I read this I wondered was Cpl. Ingman fearless or was it instinct to help his brothers? Everything happened in split seconds. Can you even think in a split second? Isn’t it then instinct takes over? But what instinct? Self survival or protecting his platoon. Which was it? Are they different?

I began perusing the stories behind our medal of honor recipients. I spent the night moving from one story to the next. Reading the moment when the Medal of Honor recipients had to make a decision to move, to risk their life. They seemed to have a common thread in their stories, assess the situation, then act!


…assess the situation, then act!


Did this happen in a split second? What was the timing between assessing the problem and then the action to solve it? From their stories I couldn’t quite figure that out. When I did listen to the oral histories (2) you could feel the raw emotion of the situation and the noise around them. It did seem everything happened so fast.


What about fear? I haven’t heard one story that used that word yet. Maybe it’s because the decisions are made so fast you don’t have time feeling fear and the paralysis of thinking too much. And what about Cpl. Ingman? After he took out the first machine gun he had to regroup and go after a second machine gun that opened fire. By then his adrenaline must have been pumping to fuel his next step.  No time, not even a split-second to reconsider the consequences or to waste. Wasting time can mean death!


…wasting time can mean death!


As I continued to listen, many shared their stories on how they ended up in the military. Some of the stories were funny. Several were about them getting into trouble and they needed direction with their life. One story was about how he just liked girls and not much of anything else, “I liked the girls better than my education, but I wanted to be the best I could.”


I’m sure there were stories of young boys knowing they wanted to go into the military, but I seemed to keep clicking on the stories of these young boys lost, undisciplined and unsure of their life’s direction. I guess, that might have been what kept me listening. The stories were from humbled young men just starting out in their lives, going it alone, directionless, with no real relationships that gave them the mentorship or guidance to find who they were.


…starting out in their lives, going it alone, directionless.


As each of their stories started to unfold into their life on the battle field, they spoke of the intensity of the horrible conditions that existed in the trenches. They reflected on how each day would bring them to another battle and the emotional bonds building ever deeper with their fellow soldiers. They reflected on the brutality of the trenches, the fog and despair of never-ending marches. The conditions of little sleep, food and water.


With the growth of their relationships and connections, these boys were growing an inner depth of their soul and caring more about their patrol and learning to care for the safety of each other not only as individuals but as a group. Together they are stronger, together their odds to survive successfully grew and together they each became a better person. These relationships forged in the depth of hardship and life-threatening reality gave these young boys a lesson in life, alone I’m strong but together we are invincible. These boys experienced an emotional rebirth built on the growing relationships of interdependence and emotional selflessness.


… alone I’m strong but together we are invincible.


It was inspiring to listen throughout the night how these men as young boys admittedly lost or considered troublemakers shared their transformation. Their stories would paint the scene of the situation right before the Medal of Honor event. It included the comradeship and the desperation of the moment. And then in an instant they faced not only an enemy but themselves, finding their “core” defining who they are at the most critical intersection.


… finding their “core” defining who they are at the most critical intersection.


There’s over 3,495 recipients and tonight I only read a few and listened to more. Each story, unique, but they all had crossroads of similarities in fortitude. They all seemed mute to the reality of the consequences of their heroic actions, persistent in taking the next step and then the next. Ultimately none of them had a plan B to fall back on. They were all facing an all or nothing scenario.


… none of them had a plan B to fall back on.


How often I’ve had a safety net to “just” take the edge off of a failure. Or convince myself I didn’t fail because I had another option. What would I have done if I didn’t have an option, a plan B? What if the only next step is to continue on the same path and not give up on it. I’ve never thought of that till now.

I didn’t finish that proposal. Instead, I called the client and recommended another company I had collaborated with on another project. I was trying to fit into their narrow specification to win the proposal and I just wasn’t the best solution. I realize it was in my client’s best interest to give them their “Plan A”.



All text Copyright © 2015 by Jeanne E. Reynolds – All Rights Reserved

(1) “MedalOfHonor.” Congressional Medal of Honor Society, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

(2) “Medal of Honor: Oral Histories.” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.


The last 12 months, since we started to offer the Realtor CRM workshop in Denver, Colorado, we would open up the last section of the day to questions. As our attendance grew and the classes became more diverse with new licensed Realtors,  Realtors who want to expand and build their businesses aggressively (over 150%) and Realtors ready to sell their business (exit strategy), our high energy exchanges always came back to many “catch phrases”, our students kept hearing about in the CRM landscape that felt confusing.

Many of these “catch phrases” were, what is sales force automation, what does CRM tasks mean, what’s the difference between email marketing and social media marketing? How do they apply to the Realtor’s business and the implementation of their business strategies and goals?

Because of these robust and fun discussions I changed the first 5 minutes of our workshop with an overview of the CRM landscape that helps organize these perceived ambiguities.  I call these, the 4 legs of our CRM landscape.

The 4 legs of the CRM include:


Our first leg is Sales Force Automation. This is for the sales person to automate and prioritize their workflow to push their leads down the sales funnel. In its simplest form, these tasks allow the sales person to manage their contacts, identify their leads, nurture their leads into opportunities, and then facilitate a quote/proposal for a winning bid!


Our second leg, CRM tasks. These tasks are all of our interactions with our sales funnel; before, during, and after processing a sale/transaction. These interactions include our calls, notes, documents, meetings, and emails with each contact into their account history for easy memory recall. As is often laughed about in our workshop, “we can’t remember what we did 5 minutes ago”, so our CRM is our memory recall.


We all need to stay in touch consistently and professionally. To accomplish this goal, we use email marketing which allows us to automate our e-newsletters, announcements, and blog/articles to our contact lists.  We are able to build campaigns to both nurture and stay top of mind, so our leads and clients don’t forget our company’s name, products or services. Email marketing also includes building an activity plan (or checklist) with automation to stay on task during and after our transaction efforts. These efforts can include a reminder for a simple phone call to say “hi”, sending a great coupon or just sharing the awesome farmers markets in your area.


This is the leg that is growing and getting crazier. These are the processes of building leads through our website traffic, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the other “billions” of social media sites. The craziness is the magnitude of data that is mined from these efforts to tell us the traffic’s demographics, page views, how long for the views, which products viewed, and making recommendations what to push to our contacts. These capabilities, that we have all experienced through Amazon, for instance, are becoming accessible to the mainstream user.  This data-rich phenomenon is what will change over the coming years as the ability to access this data easily and know what triggers to push, to get the right message at the right time and in the right moment to your leads for a winning conversion rate.

All of these efforts build your brand of professionalism and authority which only builds confidence in any prospects or previous clients who will need you or your product again.

Happy Business Building!

All text Copyright © 2018 by Jeanne E. Reynolds – All Rights Reserved


NOTE: This was written in the fall of 2015! Enjoy this article before the sequel arrives in the fall of 2018.


Did you know that 2,973 (1) new Realtor associate licenses were given in the last 12 months in Colorado? I’m not sure how the rest of the country looks, but the Denver, Colorado market has been crazy this year. I kept hearing about 10 to 20 different offers on one house, hours after it went up for sale. So this may be an excellent career and small business choice based on this crazy market weather.

But I had to ask myself why did 2,973 people decide to get their real estate license? Are they buying a house and thought they would save money? Do they have 12 friends they know who are going to be buying/selling houses the next year? Are they going to become a landlord or buy houses and flip them? Is the HGTV channel an influencer? I’m not an agent and I’m none of the above. I work with small businesses with their sales force automation, customer relationship management (CRM) solution choices and email marketing platforms. I usually service manufacturers, financial institutions, healthcare, banks, and many, many small business owners.


My company began servicing Realtors the past couple of years when we received calls to assist them in their business processes. For example, accounting, filing and tax organization, how to keep up and organize their communications to stay “top of mind” with leads, referrals, prospects and previous clients. Once I worked with a few Realtors I realize this market segment needed a product or a solution to help them find the right mechanism to address these issues. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution would be the right catalyst to jump start their business into an efficient communication hub of high energy and professionalism.

Yet, working with one Realtor at a time was time consuming and expensive for them. So, how do we ramp up the efficiency, decrease the cost, and reduce the time consumption? If ever there is a complaint in getting started with a new solution, it’s the learning curve. With many giving up!

So, we needed to figure out a solution or a product that could easily educate and train in a short period of time to reduce the cost to them. This product or solution needed to be able to communicate the strategies and benefits of a CRM in their business, how CRM features work to build their business, how it can automatically send an e-newsletter monthly to stay “top of mind” consistently. To also know who was opening their e-marketing campaigns, who are their hot prospects, how they got referrals through consistent and disciplined processes, and this product or solution had to be accomplished in one day. Oh, and it was decided it needed to be approved for continuing education credits (CE) by the governing regulatory agency for Realtors.


The answer to this was: “The CRM Workshop for Realtors” for 8 CEs that could be completed in one day. Well, it turned out finding the right CRM, building a workshop and getting 8 CEs approved, was the easy part!

The daunting effort came in the form of some ugly statistics for both small businesses and Realtors specifically. “8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn.” (2) In real estate, only a few new Realtors renew their licenses again.

If we use that 80% statistic for our new 2,973 Realtors, then only 595 of them will still be around the next couple of years! We may have built a great Customer Relationship Management workshop for the Realtors to help them achieve their business success, but how many will be here to implement their new skills the next year?


What’s the reason for this? We can pretty much summarize the reasons we’ve read in a billion articles and books about small business failures, but let’s add a Realtor flavor to them:


Choosing the wrong business with the wrong expectations. One of the worse answers to the question why real estate is, “I love houses”. Well so do I, but I don’t sell them I just live in one. This is a business not a hobby which brings me to the next point.

Real estate is a people business. It’s not a 9 to 5 job, it’s all the time, every day in the beginning till you figure out how to build a support system to have that life/work balance recipe in place. 72% of all small businesses are built on referrals regardless of the industry. (3) So, it’s up to you, the 2,973 new Realtors to go out and build every day, your network, your sphere, and your referrals.

People can be demanding, impossible, crazy, wonderful, inspiring and on top of that this is a business where the customer is always right, and you have to navigate personality sand pits! This is not the same as being in a retail setting selling. This is selling from pounding the pavement of prospecting, nurturing, converting, then servicing, closing, and then maintaining the relationship till the next transaction with that client in the next 5 to 10 years.

Realtors need a business home, a broker. I was surprised to find out that brokers don’t offer extensive business classes on accounting, workflow processes, how to sell, how to list, and how to navigate all of the technologies to help the new Realtor build their business. That means initiative and a lot of it, to find the right mix of technology, to help them automate parts of their business and professionalize their presence. It means finding training classes on specific skills and finding mentors in both real estate and business.

Underestimating the discipline and consistency in hard work. It’s not a rumor, it’s true, a new business owner can work up to 90 hours a week building their business. So you better love what you’re doing. Let’s emphasize, you can work hard but also work smart. We can be so busy all day and not be productive.


A Realtor, who is my client, Chani Olson, had come to me for help with her business processes 2 years ago because she was starting all over. She had stopped being an agent to bring up her two awesome boys 5 years earlier. She dug through papers, notes and files to find her previous clients so she could reconnect. Rebooting her business was scary, fear laden, and she worried of what she didn’t know. Her fear was also the engine to work hard, rebuild and be a great student. She successfully initiated every single strategy and feature of her CRM, she has become the best contract writer by both doing and asking for advice from mentors.

Could our 2,973 Realtors do what Chani has done? Good question, for each of them! Today Chani could be their mentor!

Do I think it’s possible to help all 2,973 new Realtor associates be around in 2 years? No. We all learn by doing and some of these new Realtors will learn a lot. They will learn they don’t love real estate as their business, they will realize working for a corporation is more their cup of tea, and some may stumble right into their passion while going down this path. Life is doing, finding, tripping and exploring. The 2,378 won’t have failed by not continuing with the real estate business but found another path for their journey.


Copyright © 2018 by Jeanne E. Reynolds – All Rights Reserved

1            “CAVU Online.” CAVU Online. Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Real Estate, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.

2           Wagner, Eric T. “Five Reasons 8 Out Of 10 Businesses Fail.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 12 Sept.              2013.   Web. 15 Sept. 2015.

3           De La Cruz, Emmelie. “6 Tools to Nurture Leads and Increase Referrals – SumAll.” SumAll. N.p., 01 July 2015. Web. 15 Sept. 2015.