Crushing It Through Covid-19: A Sisu Case Study

Zac Muir
May 13, 2020

The purpose of this post isn't to downplay COVID-19, it's impact on the economy, or the challenges it's created for real estate businesses across the country.

Rather, this post should highlight the massive opportunity that lies underneath chaotic and uncertain markets—and what is possible when a team is well-equipped to take on these types of tests.

Yea, transactions are down 50%, but the competition is down 80% so we are crushing it!

- A realtor in California with a really great attitude whose name I can't recall

Just like the 2008 crash decided the winners in real estate markets for the next 12 years, those who are able to best manage this situation in 2020 will be leaders in their markets for the next decade.

Utah Life Real Estate Group More Than Doubled Their Signed Units For March/April 2020 vs. 2019

I talk to dozens of real estate teams across the country each day, so I like to think I have a decent pulse on how most teams were doing with the chaotic situation in March and April of 2020.

Some teams went into complete lockdown and weren't able to show houses at all. Not much to be done there, but there were still teams who did an exceptional job of building a pipeline (which they will reap the benefits from in the coming months).

Most teams were shut down for a few days but were eventually deemed as essential by their state and were permitted, with strict regulations, to go out and show homes.

These are the teams that I've really kept a close eye on, curious about how they would navigate the situation and curious see if they would come out on top.

This (the second) was the hand dealt to Utah Life Real Estate Group (ULRG) in Davis County, Utah. They were unable to show homes for a few days, but eventually deemed as essential. Armed with permission from the state and some portable hand washing stations, they set the stage for what would be two very impressive months.

Before we dig into the numbers, here's what you need to know about ULRG:

  • They have 20 total team members: around 14 full time agents, a couple part timers, and a handful of administrative staff.
  • They run a full team model and provide coaching, systems, and accountability for all of their agents.
  • A lot of their coaching is around mindset.
  • They are extremely numbers, goals, and achievement driven.
  • They are the team around which the idea and concept of Sisu was born.

The Numbers

Here are a few graphs illustrating increases across almost every single metric for the team in March/April 2020

Keep in mind that ULRG has roughly the same number of full-time agents this year compared to last year—i.e. their recruiting is not the contributing factor to these gains (although their recruiting is currently on fire as word gets out about their success in the difficult market).

This is their team accountability dashboard for April 2020
These numbers are ridiculous. Signing almost 120 listings/buyers during the pandemic? That's insane, especially compared to their 2019 and 2018 numbers.
Units placed under contract was a core piece of the contest they ran in April.

THIS is How You Crush it in an Uncertain Market

I always say that real estate is 80% mindset and 20% hard skills

Spring Bengtzen, CEO at ULRG

I won't bore you with incredible detail here—we'll just go straight to the facts.

There's a lot that went into the team having a killer couple of months.

I believe the little things really added up to their success. Here's a list of the things I saw:

  • From day one, Spring (the team leader) was optimistic about the situation. She truly saw it as an opportunity to gain market share and differentiate their team. I talked to her this day and her attitude was contagious.
  • ULRG had already been training mindset for months, so their agents were well-equipped to tackle the situation head on.
  • The team doubled down on mindset training right at the start of everything.
  • There wasn't an increase in marketing—in fact, they cut marketing back a little bit.
  • There was a huge increase in effort. See the conversations and appointments set/met metrics above.
  • It certainly wasn't easier to create appointments from conversations, but it was much easier to create conversations with less dials. People were easier to reach on the phone.
  • They picked up a lot of business from their SOI.

And here are some of the most important factors in my mind:

  • Understanding that motivation itself would be the biggest roadblock, they started doing 15 minute Zoom calls with video every morning at 8:30AM.
  • They used these Zoom calls for coaching and motivation, and they were highly numbers/goals driven using Sisu dashboards.
  • In addition to the 15 minute calls, they added 30 minutes of skills training (side note, this is quickly becoming a staple of top performing teams)
  • They had a VERY involved contest running right at the peak of uncertainty in the market. This contest was based mainly on conversations, appointments met, and units placed under contract. They used a Sisu gamification dashboard and point system to measure results and display them on their Zoom calls each morning.
  • They actually invited another top performing team in their market, The Bowen Adams Group, to compete against them in the same exact contest, also using Sisu.
  • Aside from their core metrics for success, they even put an emphasis on metrics like Exercise to promote better mental health/enthusiasm within their team.

Note that the Bowen Adams Group, who competed against ULRG over this time period, had an equally impressive performance over the time period using a lot of the same strategies.

Sometimes, measuring something like exercise can have a profound impact on metrics and mindset across the board

People Don't Create Results. Systems Create Results.

Every person you know is a result of their systems.

The things you do daily compound into your character and situation.

I believe this team crushed it because they focus on the agent first.

If you first help the agent create the right mindset to crush it in real estate, and then you place them in an ideal environment with coaching, accountability, and a little friendly competition....

You'll have a lean machine that's ready to step on the gas when times get tough and opportunity arises.

About the Author

Zac Muir
Director of Marketing and Sales

Zac is blessed to do what he loves - writing content, driving traffic, building sales funnels for SaaS companies, eating unhealthy amounts of cereal and living his best life with his beautiful wife.🍚