Brian Gubernick, Owner at HomeHeloper Consultants & Partner at Metrix Coaching and Training - How Team Leaders Can More Effectively Evaluate New Business Opportunities in 2021

Zac Muir
October 8, 2020

[00:00:00] All right, next, Fakher, we're moving right along here, we got Brian Duvan coming on with us. We're going to talk about the so many opportunities as team leader, as a broker, and how do you evaluate how do you really choose the ones that are going to give you the highest return? Brian, I'm going to bring you on here. How's it going, man?

[00:00:19] Good man. How are you doing?

[00:00:21] Good. Thank you for hopping on and being a part of this now.

[00:00:24] Thank you for having me on. I'm really excited to know you've got kind of this all star list. Yeah. Saying I'm humbled to be part of it. I got a lot of a lot of living up to some things that are friends of mine, peers of mine. So I don't know how I stuck on the list, but I guess I guess I made it. How are you doing, Zach? Good.

[00:00:44] I'm doing good, man. Yeah, it's it's been fun where we got oh I think we got maybe six more sessions.

[00:00:50] We got Tom very later. We've done over the course of the summit, we've done 60 something sessions. So lots of knowledge bombs. Really excited to talk about this topic with you. Maybe just tell us a little bit like where you're coming from, your background, what you're up to.

[00:01:07] Yeah, no, happy to. So I've been in real estate sales in some capacity for about 13, 14 years now. And so for me, I started as a realtor building a real estate sales team in two thousand seven crew that team enough to where I started expanding it in terms of moving it to other cities. Now, I was very heavy, short sale, distressed market. And it's my niche, which was real hot in Phenix when the Phenix market started to improve. That wasn't actually great for my business model. So I looked on the map and said, Where can I go? That is a little bit behind and found my way to Seattle and Portland and parts of Michigan and in southern Cal and so Vegas. And so I bounced around and expanded my team in twenty thirteen or so. I got in the real estate brokerage world, the franchise world for Keller Williams, who I'm with later on after that got into other ancillaries like title escrow, things of that nature. And now I spent a lot of my time in the coaching and training space, have a company called Metrics and we do a lot of short term one to one and run a big mastermind, which is where I met a lot of your great Sisu people. So I have my hands on a few things, most of which have worked, some of which have not.

[00:02:36] Like many of the people you've been talking to this past day and a half or so, a few more W's and L's. So it's it's working out OK just now. But it's been good. It's been good.

[00:02:46] Yeah. Yeah, I love it. Talk to me a little bit about some metrics. What are some of the things coaching wise that you guys are focused on that you feel like it's kind of like a different take on the way you guys do things?

[00:02:59] Yeah, good question. I would tell you that we do not do traditional one to one long term coaching and certainly not the other models. There's phenomenal real estate coaches out there and phenomenal models. We run a short term one to one twenty weeks tactical oops, sorry, tactical strategy and tactics. So it's a more of we call it coaching, but the truth is it's more training and it's more specific and it's built around or it's built for those agents that aspire to build teams with those team owners that are looking to build an even bigger, more profitable team. And I would say that that's probably the biggest component. Our area of focus for us, Zach, is that I am hyper focused on net income, on profit. I'm running now. There's so many real estate teams out there that collect an awful lot of volume, collect an awful lot of gross commission income, but don't collect quite the net income that they should. So my mission, if I have one with respect to this industry, is to increase the focus around putting money into your pocket, your team's pocket, that of your agents. And ultimately, it's what you do with those dollars, in my opinion, from the real estate team that truly create the wealth.

[00:04:15] In other words, I look at the real estate team as a cash generating machine that you leverage to get into these other opportunities. And that's why today I have the opportunity to talk about opportunities, how you get how you could vet a process you could use to understand or figure out if something is worth your time, is worth your energy.

[00:04:38] Yeah. And is that coming from I kind of interpret it this way, but coming from the the fact and this is timely because all of this summit has been offered. Here's an opportunity. Here's an opportunity. Here's something you could do. Here's something else you could do. And is it just from that that there's so much that you could do that this kind of program and mentality you guys have come up with?

[00:05:00] Well, here's the scoop, and I think many watching today and certainly those that are presented could attest to what I'm about to say the busier we get. I'm sorry that your phrase that the bigger we get, the more success we find in real estate sales. The more things start to land on your desk, the more opportunities or perceived opportunities start to land on your desk. Right. So when I was a solo agent doing a dozen or so deals in my first year and what a lot of people talking to me about what what's next? Not that I you know, I was happy in my first year and I had a smile on my face, but not a lot. You know, I wasn't filtering through a lot of different things. But as I built my team and as I built my net worth and I built my connections and I built my influence, more and more starts to land on your plate.

[00:05:56] And for many watching and many that are presented, you've got a lot of entrepreneurs where everything looks good. Yeah. And frankly, if it doesn't look good, you still think in your head. Well, it doesn't look good today, but I bet I can fix that because that's what we do, right? Like, that's just how we operate. We're just like, give it to me. Let me go. Let me run. And so for me, my personal experience, I took on like 17 things at once and had to learn some of that set. Like I was running 17 things. And I'm being sarcastic with that number, but I'm running a handful of things all at 40 percent. Yeah. And some of those things I like in some I don't like. And so I looked up one day and I'm like, man, there has got to be a better way to do this.

[00:06:41] There's got to be a better process here, which kind of drove me to figuring out my own filter of sorts. And that's that's what I really would love to share around, like how you can create your own filter and how you could underwrite, which is the term I'd use. I could underwrite future business opportunities. And I have a criteria around what's acceptable or what's worth your effort, time, money and influence.

[00:07:04] I love it. Yeah, let's let's dig into that. It sounds great.

[00:07:08] So for me, I drew up a business filter, actually drew it up with a partner of mine, many guys. My name's Brett Tanner, and he and I have been in business in a variety of ways over the years. And like me, he's a serial entrepreneur, that everything looks great, too. So he and I kind of worked together and both put together like our own filter, our own like questions, combine them and came up with kind of the ultimate filter here. And so I'm going to share with you a handful of questions that we ask. And I think that these questions are not in any sort of specific order. You get to determine how you want to weight the questions based on or the results from these questions based on where you're at your career or where you're at, you know, financially or where your passion lies. Right. So you get to determine the weight of these answers.

[00:08:00] But again, I ask every one of these questions of myself and of any partner before I move forward in truly considering if an opportunity makes sense. The first thing that might make sense, just for an example, just for example sake. I think one thing that we as realtors can do, we could always be looking at our respective panels, you know, our our income statements and looking at our expense items. And we should always be asking, how could I take this expense and turn it into profit? Like, how can I take something that's costing me money and actually flip the script. Right. And and turn that into a profit center. An example of this that all of us deal with every single day or hopefully, ideally every day, we're all putting signs in the ground. We all have signposts. So big expense for many of those attending today, and that, if presented, are putting signs in the ground on a monthly basis. So almost all of us, once you hit a certain volume in your business, you're going to say, you know what, hell, I need to just start a company that does this and I'll just service everybody else and take care of my own costs. Zero base. You know what it is I'm spending. So I want to use, let's say, a sign post company as an example to illustrate these questions today. So the first thing I'm going to ask.

[00:09:18] Is an obvious one that I'm going to say for the signpost company, what's the upside? What is the financial upside projecting three to five years out? What's the potential annual income I can possibly make on this business? More importantly, how does this potential annual income compare against my minimum required new business income? And I'm going to explain that here in a moment, my minimum required new business income. So I'm going to create a pro forma Zach and I'm going to forecast out, you know, where is this thing potentially going to be in three to five years? The signpost company. How does that, though, compare to what is my minimum now? My minimum, everybody gets to pick theirs. Right, when I say minimum, when I go back to when I started expanding my real estate team, my mentor at the time had said to me, you know, when you go expand your team, Brian, you've got to define a number that that location has to make to warrant the effort and and the commitment. And the math for me at the time was one hundred K, if I can make one hundred thousand dollars going to a new city net, it warrants an investigation. Now, today, you know, just stats that sounded great at the time. That was my number at the time. I don't remember exactly how I got to it. It's probably the same way you ask a military recruiting your team how much money you want to make.

[00:10:47] What's a home run? They all say six figures. Well, I probably did that. Same them that number over time. Right now, here I am. A decade later, that number is grown. Now, part of that might be me getting older and maybe more crotchety, whatever it may be, but I'm at a different phase of my career than I was then. But every one of us has a number. Now, early in my career, Zach, when I go back to like when I first started selling, if I saw an opportunity or a business that would make me fifty thousand dollars or thirty thousand dollars, I may have gone and done that. Now, keep in mind, my commitments at that time were a condo and a Labrador and myself. Those were my responsibility. So I could lower that minimum requirement because I don't really have a heck of a lot going on in terms of responsibility. So, again, how does the potential income of this business weigh against what it is you consider to be your minimum required amount? OK, answer that. Right, the next question I'm going to ask, and again, in no exact order, what dangers or challenges exist for this specific business? What obstacles do I have to overcome? What am I potentially not seeing or what am I missing that can have an adverse impact on the launch of this new business opportunity? So let's talk real quick around the same post company that our example.

[00:12:12] So what dangers or challenges exist? Well, the dangers or challenges, there's logistics involved, you know, maybe we're underestimating the market, maybe there's more competition, maybe I don't have the relationships that I think I have, know what obstacles might be. Might we have to overcome one thing? What am I possibly missing? This is a really good one. If I were starting a signpost company in January of this year. I don't think I would have projected that we'd be in the car over there at that time. Right. So how what kind of adverse impact could that have on my business? Furthermore, maybe an even better example than that. Yeah, we all saw inventory trending a certain way. I don't think I could have told you in January here in Metro Phenix that we would have literally like no properties available for sale. So why does that matter? Well, for sake of the sign post company, if there's no listing inventory, that would have an adverse impact on this new business opportunity I'm considering. Right. So, again, No. One, what's the financial upside? Number two, what are the dangers here? What am I missing? What am I not seeing? OK, number three. And again, in no particular order. But the third question, I'm always going to ask, who's the jockey?

[00:13:29] Who is going to drive this new business opportunity? Right now, mind you, maybe you're the jockey.

[00:13:38] Right, like maybe on the signpost company, I want to take ownership of this, I'm going to go drive. If I'm not the jockey, though, how challenging is it to get to go find that person that's going to drive it, that's going to lead? So who is that person? A good example of this signpost? Company aside, I'm in the property management business. Now, I personally do not do anything with respect to that business outside of meeting with the person driving it, my jockey on a weekly basis for about an hour to cast vision and works of different challenges. Right. So when I went into that business, when I went to the property management business, before I even decided to get into it, I had to identify the jockey because the jockey was not going to be me. And in this particular case, it was my operations manager who had been working with me for about seven years, ready for her next opportunity. Right. So who's the jockey in the signpost company who's going to drive this thing? Again, this is a really serious one I think all of us should be thinking about, because as entrepreneurs, we have a tendency to think we could take a take on anything and everything. And again, you'll find yourself like me and many of you guys have already been there, you'll find yourself with 10 different things on your plate. You're doing them all at 40 percent. That's a lack of Tjokkie as lack of talent. OK, so who's the jockey, the fourth thing? Again, in no particular order, how many people are going to be involved in this operation? Today, how many people might be involved in it in five years now there's no pro or con here, yes or no here, this is more of an awareness question than anything else.

[00:15:16] How many people are going to be part of this company? Right. I like to ask that question because I want to make sure it aligns with the kind of environment I want to be in if, in fact, I have to be hands on with it. Again, it's not a bad thing or a good thing. There are businesses I want to be in that are me and one person. There are businesses that I'll consider that would have a thousand potential employees. Again, nothing wrong with there's no right answer here. It is just a sign post company. If I launch that today. If you launch that company today, Zack, I mean, maybe you've got a driver, the jockey, maybe you have a runner and maybe you got somebody who's managing books or hell, maybe there's one person doing all three of those things. Five years from now, though, if this thing scales based on that, what's the financial upside question? Like you said, the upside here is half a million dollars a year. Awesome. So my follow up to that would be how many people are required to get that? Half a million. And you say, hey, I need 30 people to be there.

[00:16:14] I say, great, Zach, that's awesome. How do you feel about 30 people? And why do I talk about it that way, with people equal complexity, even the simplest, you know, most highly efficient company of 30 still has more headaches than a company of one. Right. So just be aware of it. What do you want and how many people are involved? The next thing I'm going to take a look at, and I think this is important, I think they're all important. I'm a little biased. I kind of created the filters, I guess. I think all my questions are important. But are you bringing to the table what are you as the person who this opportunity has been presented to or that you've thought of in the shower because or driving or running? Because that's usually what you think if your best ideas. What are you bringing to the table? Are you bringing your time or are you bringing your influence or or are you bringing your capital? Or maybe it's a combination of one, two or all three of those. OK, time influencer capital. How do you feel about that? Right so quickly, early in my career and for many watching you probably at this stage right now, for me, when I was when I had earlier in my career, I really didn't have much capital. I really didn't have much influence, so what can I contribute to any sort of partnership or opportunity? It was my time, right? So I was bringing my time.

[00:17:45] How do I feel about that? Now, on the flip side, later in your career, those that are watching that I established businesses have been doing this for a little while, have relationships and have capital to invest in this particular business. What do you give it? Is it your influence, right? How do you feel about that? Like influence oftentimes means reputation and putting my reputation on the line. How do you feel about that? Is it my capital? Right. So, like in the same post company act, if you're about to launch it, like if I was going to launch a signpost company, I can assure you I'm not driving. I'm just not doing it right now, which would mean that I'm going to take my money and invest it. It also may mean that I'm going to leverage the relationships I have around town to create more business, right. So, again, another awareness question. How do I feel about this? How do I feel about time, influence and Capitol? OK, next question I'd be asking. And I'm sorry, I know the light keeps changing if the sun maybe is behind some clouds, but next question I would ask on a scale of one to five. Illuminating for the number four from the scale, and I'll get back to that on a scale of one to five, eliminating four from the scale, how passionate are you about this opportunity? Especially in comparison to the other businesses that you currently operate or the other opportunities that may may be on your desk at this time.

[00:19:14] So on a scale of one to five without four being in the equation, how passionate are you about this opportunity? Another awareness question now, why do I say eliminate for Zach? It's because I want to commit one side or the other. If I say to someone on a scale of one to 10, how do you feel about A, B and C, the default answer more often times than not, as a seven by say, on a scale of one to five, how do you feel the default answer? Some say like a three and a half. Four. That's a safe answer. So I want a commitment. Either I'm super passionate in five or I'm not really all that passionate and a three or less. Now, again, another awareness question. Keep in mind, like in the same post company. If I'm just putting my capital into it and maybe using a little bit of my influence, guess what? I don't have to be all that passionate about it. Right, my passion to be a woman, if it's just my capital at risk and I think the business model makes sense, I don't have to like that model, like I have to be passionate about it. But if it's my time. And I'm anything less than a five, I think that's a challenge, so if you've got an opportunity you're looking at on your desk right now and it's going to require your time.

[00:20:28] And I ask you, on a scale of one to five eliminating for how passionate are you about this deal? I mean, if you're not at least the three and ideally a five, well, you know, how goes everybody on here is built a business. You're building businesses right now at 11 p.m. at night on a Tuesday when you got to get something done. It's generally your passion that's going to push you through if you're working on someone's got a one passion. And it's 11:00 on a Tuesday. Might be tapping out now, some of you guys are super hard headed and you're going to go at it no matter what, and I respect the heck out of that. But over time, it's going to weigh on you. So, again, that's has to be looked at, though, in comparison to who's the jockey, maybe it's me and what am I contributing and all the other variables that we just discussed. The next question, Zach, I'm going to ask, how loud will this business be, how loud now? Loud, what do I mean by loud? How much noise is this thing going to create the property management business? Right. As I mentioned earlier, it is a very, very, very noisy business. It's very loud, meaning that you've got tenants, you've got property owners. Tenants always have issues. Then the vendor comes in and screws something up, more issues, more noise. Then you got a property owner doesn't understand what they were charged and they said, that's a lot of noise.

[00:21:49] Now, I'm not the jockey and it's just my capital at risk. So that noise can be really loud. I'm not dealing with it, but in the signpost company, if I am the person driving it and if it is my influence or specifically my reputation on the line, and that has noise to it, it might dissuade me from pursuing it. Right. So how loud is this going to be and how is that going to impact all that I'm working on? Right. Next question I'd ask, what's the businesses boat? This is kind of an obvious one. We should always be asking this, meaning that what's so special about the business or what's proprietary about it, that kind of gives it a unique position signpost company. It's going to be tough to find a moat outside of the fact that many of you have relationships that you can lean into, that might be your competitive advantage. I've been in the business. I've been in the trenches. I could speak the language. I know you. Your business is like my business. That might be there might be some sort of moat. Their property management for me. I have a partner in the business that's a war veteran and the property management business is a veteran owned business. As a result of that, that is I don't want to call it a moat necessarily, but that's a that's a competitive advantage. It's something we leverage. Right. So I'm not saying there always has to be something special.

[00:23:12] I mean, maybe it is just simply the service. But let's talk around that. Right. Like you need to have something different or unique that makes your product or service appealing. I mean, I'll tell you what, Sisu is nailed this right. Like you guys do it at a level, you know, far exceeds anybody you compete with. Right, so you took a service or product, but you said, hey, here's what's out there, we're going to create something five X that you've created a moat in that respect because you raised your teams fast. Now everyone's trying to play catch up. So that's a way to create a moat, right? Like just, you know, speed. Yeah. And then the last thing I would throw in here, it's. Appreciate it. Did you guys make it easy? It's not that hard to comprehend something that kicks ass. So the last thing I was going to tell you, the last question I'd be asking, and this one is incredibly important to me today, more so than ever before. More more so than it's ever been. Does this does your existing businesses or business, does it already provide the customers for this new venture? Are there any resources or synergies or efficiencies that the other businesses have that can be leveraged for sake of this business? A good example I can give, I mean, obviously in the same post company, does your existing business already support it? Well, yeah, I got to put signs in the ground for my own sales team.

[00:24:42] So now I've got a company that does it. I got a brokerage that does it, and I got all these. But I made a great example is I'm a real estate team that operates in a brokerage, so I buy the brokerage synergy there. I've got a brokerage that has a lot of agent business, so I launch a title and escrow company. Obviously a tremendous amount of synergy there. I'm in the real estate trenches coaching and training and building models and systems for my own team. Gosh, I guess it would make sense to create a coaching platform and share our models elsewhere. And I can monetize it, just calling the business what it is. Right. So there's synergies there. Now, Zach, where there wasn't synergies is when I decided to open a cryotherapy business next door to my real estate office right over here. Would you do that? Not a lot of synergy there. Yeah, I did not, because now I sold myself on the synergy. Realtors need to recover from a hard day's they got to look for that, that's kind of a reach. So guess what I mean, that's not a business to still being right, because those businesses, again, that's just my model. I'm not saying that always has to exist. Now, what would have been better for that crowd therapy business? Maybe if I owned a gym or my own some sort of performance, you know, athletic performance facility or something of that nature to where there's synergy? Right, or something of that nature.

[00:26:08] So anyhow. Not those are my nine, there's a bonus tenth that I that that applies more so specifically to me. And some of you guys would really appreciate this. My bonus number 10 is, is there travel involved? Again, not because I'm anti travel, but when I go back to when I expanded my real estate team in 2011, you know, I wanted to get on a plane and go to Seattle. I wanted to go from Seattle on the train down to Portland, like that was from and that was a blast. That was the travel was cool. It was exciting. It was kind of new to me. Well, here I am, you know, a decade or so later, I'm not as anxious, excited or anxious to get on a plane and go places. Not that I won't. I mean, I'll do what I got to do, but I'm not looking forward to it to the way I once did. So when I look at some business opportunities today, I do ask myself, is there a travel and if so, how much? You know, I've got an almost 10 year old and an eight year old and my wife and businesses and and organized chaos get on a plane and fly in isn't as easy as it used to be. And so I do look at travel as well. Those are the big ten right there, man. Now, what do you do?

[00:27:22] You take all my questions and use them now. However, I don't expect you to do that.

[00:27:28] I think I might be silly, but at the very least, get on get on your whiteboard, you know, on your flip chart over here, right there. And start drawing out, you know, what your filter needs to look like, because if we don't, I think we all fall into the trap. No one is more the game of more like we just start trying to accumulate more and more stuff, more things, more businesses, more money, more people. And we lack clarity. We lack focus. And usually that comes to bite us in the butt. So create your filter and do it sooner rather than later and on. Many, many on this are on the rise. I encourage you to do it sooner rather than later. So you always have something from by which you're going to judge these things that are surely going to land on your desk.

[00:28:11] I love it. And I think you can't be more right when you say especially people as they grow and they get further along this path and real estate is so full of opportunity, it's got to have that filter. And I think these are great examples.

[00:28:24] So I appreciate you and I hope it helps.

[00:28:29] All right, Brian, anything else for us? Man, anyone in the questions you were getting some shout outs, people out what you're sharing and so appreciate it. Anything you want to leave us with, Brian?

[00:28:41] Man, you know, you've had so many great insights, I'm sure I'll tell you I'll leave you one that that I heard last night. It's a great show on Netflix. Well, let me take that back. I don't know if it's a great show yet. I only watch the first episode. It's called The Playbook, and it interviews coaches, professional coaches and and they talk around kind of the rules on life. And Doc Rivers was the first episode of Doc Rivers. As many of you know, we played basketball for the Hawks. I'm not a huge basketball fan, but this guy played for Atlanta. He was the coach of the Celtics coach, the Clippers. I think he just got hired by the Sixers. And Doc Rivers says he had a quote at the very end where he said Pressure is a privilege. To have pressure is a privilege, and he was really referring to when he was the coach of the Boston Celtics and at the at the garden where the Boston Celtics play, they have all of their championships hanging from the rafters and his job as the head coach of the Celtics like it was either win a title or you failed.

[00:29:51] And the way the way he had perceived that was that pressure. He had earned the right to that pressure. It was truly a privilege. And so I share that with everybody out there today. We've got a lot of business owners, that business is tough, man. There's people and strategies and failed marketing efforts and tools that work and some that don't work. And I mean, there's a lot of pressure. Like, you feel it, like you wear it sometimes. Just recognize that you're fortunate. That's a that's a privilege because if you didn't have those things, it would probably mean respectfully, you might not matter, right? Like if I always say to my people, like if someone's when a complaint rolls in or you upset somebody. Well, if you didn't get some of that stuff now and again, you probably aren't loud enough. You probably don't matter. You probably don't influence or impact enough. And I look at pressure the same way. It's hard in the moment, but recognize that you get to have that pressure. It's a privilege to take advantage of it.

[00:30:56] Love it. Hey, Brian, if someone is to reach out, they want to talk metrics. They want to get involved.

[00:31:01] Where should they go it man to man email. I would love that with anything, by the way, be it metrics or any questions around what I have to talk about today. Brian, Brian, at metrics training dot com. It's metrics m e t r x training dotcom hippie up there.

[00:31:20] I love to drop that in the comments. Thanks for coming on.

[00:31:23] And we'll let you go over the Nasdaq. Thank you and thank you to the crew over at CES to great job.

[00:31:28] That's been fun.

About the Author

Zac Muir
Vice President of Revenue

Zac was one of our first hires. Outside of waging war on spreadsheets and time-killing systems, Zac loves to push the boundaries of what's "safe" on a wakeboard, semi-professional flosser, spend time on the golf course or tennis courts, and more than anything, live life with his beautiful wife and 4-pound dog, Twix. 🦮