Money: How To Make and Keep More Of It As A Real Estate Agent

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I'm Jennifer Myers, Founder of Agent Grad School and host of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, The Agent Grad School Podcast.  My goal for each episode is to give you actionable steps you can implement today to grow your real estate business.

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Whether we knew it or not, when we became real estate agents, we became business owners.

And the only difference between being a business owner and having a really expensive hobby is, well, earning money.

And while I believe the secret to success as a real estate agent comes from NOT focusing on making money, but instead focusing on truly helping our clients, I am also an advocate for learning how to create a profitable, sustainable real estate business you can rely on.

Over the last two decades of being a successful real estate agent, I’ve learned a lot about money.

How to make it.

How to spend it wisely.

How to keep more of it.

And how to grow it.

The growing it part is the fun part.

But in order to get there, you have to learn how to do the other three FIRST.

Because if you don’t know how to make money, how to spend it wisely, and how to keep more of it, you’ll end up either burning out or losing out and working way too hard for too long.

And what good is that, right?!

Here’s the best part–once we learn how to manage our money as a real estate agent, the more of an impact we can have however we choose–whether that’s being home more with the kids, being able to fund causes that can change the lives of people we’ve never even met, growing our businesses even more, paying off our parent’s house, or whatever impact you want to make out in the world.

On today’s episode, I’m sharing what I’ve learned about money and being a real estate agent over the years.

Everything I’m sharing came at a very high price and a huge learning curve.

My hope is that by me sharing the lessons I’ve learned about money as a real estate agent, you’ll be able skip some of the painful money lessons I’ve had to endure and reach your money goals much more quickly than I did.

Here’s what you’ll learn on today’s episode:

  • the three steps to making money as a real estate agent;
  • how to spend money on the things that will help your business grow;
  • the financial management things I skipped for years as a real estate agent that cost me tens of thousands of dollars;
  • what to do to keep more of your hard-earned commission dollars;
  • And more.

Listen here:

To your success,


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Agent Grad School Inner Circle

Become an Agent Grad School Student

Episode Transcript

On today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent, the Agent Grad School Podcast, we’re talking about money, how to make it, How to spend it wisely and How to keep more of it in your pocket. Welcome to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I’m your host, Jennifer Myers, listen in, as I share exactly what I did to go from not being able to sell a house for years to becoming one of the top 1% of agents in the US even opening my own brokerage full of agents helped me serve all the clients that were coming my way. I taught those agents the same strategies I use in date two became top producing agents. Now through this podcast and agent grad, I’m sharing those same modern marketing and business strategies with you. Most of which I learned from looking outside the real estate industry, no fluff, no theory, no outdated sales techniques or paying for leads, just the exact steps to get you the real estate business you’ve always wanted. And the life outside your business, you’ve always wanted to let’s make it happen and dive into today’s episode. I don’t often talk about the money part of being a real estate agent. And the reason is, is because I find that there’s a lot of MIS I don’t know what the right word is, miscommunication or miss misnomers, or we’re kind of sold this bag of goods about being a real estate agent and making a lot of money. And for me, my experience has been that when I focused on making money and when my focus was just like, I gotta make money, I gotta pay my bills. I gotta get a commission. I got to sell this house. I didn’t make any money. And instead, when I learned how to focus, instead, on actually helping my clients, I made a ton of money, almost like it was almost like when it wasn’t my focus, it came to me so easily. And so I usually talk on this podcast and inside agent grad school, and, you know, whenever it comes to helping real estate agents build their business, I usually talk about that, right? How to figure out how to help people, who you want to help and how you want to help them, and then tell people about it in your marketing, right? That’s the basics of what I usually teach, but I feel like, over the last two decades of being a successful real estate agent, I’ve learned a lot about money, how to make money, how to spend it wisely, what to spend it on, what not to spend it on How to keep more of it, and then obviously how to grow it. And the growing the money part is super fun. But in order to get there, you have to learn first how to do those other three things. You’ll have to learn how to make it, and you gotta learn how to spend it wisely. And you had to learn how to keep more of it. Those are really three keys, three, really three key pieces of understanding money when it comes to your real estate business. And when we became real estate agents, we became business owners. And the only difference between being a hobbyist and being a business owner is making money. And so I feel like I would be doing a disservice to totally gloss over this concept. And because I have learned so many annoyingly time consuming and who really expensive lessons about money, how to think about it, how to make it right, How to spend it, how to keep it, how to grow it, I’ve learned a lot the hard way. And so my goal with this episode is to share with you some of the big chunks that I’ve learned over the years, about money in hopes that maybe you can skip over my mistakes and hit your money goals much more quickly than I ever did. And so I declared may money may here on the podcast, in our inner circle and inside agent grad school, which means all of our bonus classes, all of our podcasts episodes are revolve around money, not just how to make it, but also how to think about it, what your mindset is about it, why you’re not making the amount that you should, How to keep more of it, how to set up your business structurally kind of just what to expect money-wise as a real estate agent. So inside our inner circle, I shared the list of classes with our inner circle members. And I also shared a Roundup of some of my favorite past trainings that I’ve done about money in the past. And that’s the kind of thing I always share with our inner circle members every month. And so if you aren’t yet an inner circle member, it’s totally free to join and you can do so at circle. And of course, if you’re a student, I hope you have been enjoying all of our classes about money so far this month. I certainly have enjoyed them and not only teaching them, but also bringing in some guest speakers, guest lecturers, to teach us all a thing or two about money, because I believe that it’s always a good idea to be learning and evolving. And there’s always more to learn, always more to apply and always more to implement. So on today’s episode, I want to talk about how to make more money, How to spend it wisely and how to keep more of your money. Because whether you know it or not, again, you became a business owner and you’ve got to focus on the money at some point. So when it comes to running a profitable real estate business, those are the three big lessons I’ve learned. It’s How to make it, How to spend it wisely and how to keep more of what’s left. And then of course, kind of level two, after you get that down is learning how to grow it. Because if you can keep more of, if you can make some of it and then you can spend it wisely, so you’re not spending it for Risley and you set up your business in a way that helps you keep more of it, then you get to do whatever you want with it. You get to grow it, you get to spend it how you want you get to help other people, or, you know, fund causes. It really starts opening up a level of freedom that I think we’re all looking for in life. And, and when it comes to making money, because I just don’t believe that all of us want to make a certain amount of money. We don’t want to just sell 12 houses. We don’t want to just make six figures a year, a million dollars a year. We want what doing that will get us, whether it’s a feeling or the ability to do something or the ability to make some bigger impact. So that’s what I want you guys to be focused on is not just the money itself, but what making that money can mean to you. So this episode is going to be broken up into three sections, how to make money, How to spend it wisely, what to spend it on, how to think about spending it, and then last but not least how to keep more of what’s left because what you make minus what you spend, what you have left, and you want to keep more of that in your pocket and be able to do what you want with it. Okay? So let’s start with how to make money in order to make money in your real estate business. You need one thing. And one thing only you need clients. And so here is here are the three best ways to get clients, not only to get a client, but have them coming to you. Ha not having to seek them out, them seeking you out, wanting to work with you, and only you. It is my belief that we could hustle our way and strive our way and busy-bee ourselves away at trying to make money and get clients, but that leads to burnout. And so the only way that I think it makes sense to make money is in a way that feels good to you in alignment with you, and also in a way that feels sustainable over the long term. And lastly is scalable. So things that you can do now, you should be able to do forevermore so that you can always have clients to you coming to you. And so here is I know so many times real estate agents are like, what do I do? What do I do? Right. And I always say, it starts with how you think. And if you can apply the strategies that I’m telling you to anything, whatever tactic, right? So whether you post on social media, whether you send a postcard, whether you send an email, whether you do any of those things, that the, how the step-by-step yes, it’s important. Yes. I offer that. Yes, I can give you that. But none of those steps will work unless you apply these three things to it. And conversely, whatever you try, whatever thing that you’re doing, whether it’s, you know, video, you know, I always hear agents saying why I feel like I should be doing video. I shouldn’t feel like they should be doing pay-per-click or I feel like I should be doing this or that or whatever. I’m like, great, go ahead and do it. But you have to apply these three things to it in order to get a return in order to attract clients to you and make money. And those three things are number one, you have to answer the question. Why should somebody choose you versus all the other options available to them, including doing nothing at all. Once you find that, answer your, answer, your answer to that question, everything changes. It is truly the golden key that unlocks everything in your business, and then unlocks like the magnet that brings clients to you. And how you answer that question starts with figuring out who you want to be talking to. Who do you want choosing you? And I, of course, don’t mean anything about like fair housing violations or any of that. I mean, like which kind of buyers or sellers are you talking to? And many of you think that means that you can only have one and that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is who in this postcard, who in this video, who in this social media post, who in this email, who on your website, whatever you are doing, who are you talking to? And in one video, you can talk to one group of people and another video, you can talk to a different group of people, okay? But everything starts with who you are talking to and why should they choose you? And another way to ask this question is who do you want to help? And how do you want to help them? How do you want to help them do what they want to do? And oftentimes people think that means convincing people to do something that they’re not ready to do or not wanting to do. And that’s, again, not at all. What I’m saying, what I’m saying is there are people in this world who want to buy or sell a house. They have a dream to do something. As it pertains to their home. We have to remember to our clients. This is not a transaction. Okay. This is not a commission. This is, they have something huge inside of them that they want to make come true. And everybody’s dreams revolve around their home. If you think about it, like all of you think about like, what would you do if you could make all the money that you could, that you could make, right? That you wanted to make, what you probably would spend it in some way around your home, you would fix up your home. You would buy a different home, right? You would buy rental properties. Okay. And so all I’m saying is, remember that the people who we want to help in our real estate businesses are the people who want to do something, but don’t know how or are stuck. Our job is to help them get unstuck. And that’s why it’s so important. When you aunts, when you find your answer to that question, should somebody choose you among all of the options out there, including doing nothing at all in a tight market, in a market like we’ve been experiencing, and that we will continue to experience, even though it’s a shift, right? Right. So many people now are choosing to do nothing at all. Despite the fact of still wanting to accomplish their goal. Okay? So people are saying, oh, interest rates are too high. That means I can’t afford a home. That’s not necessarily true. Your job is to help them realize that if, if they want to accomplish X, meaning buy a new home, sell a home, have an investment property, whatever it is that their dream is that you can help them make that a reality. Okay. And you have to learn how to do that. So that’s number one. If you want clients, if you want to make more money, you got to answer that question. You got to know who you’re talking to. You need to know why they should choose you above all the other options available, including doing nothing at all. Next, you need to focus more on them than you do on yourself. So most real estate agent marketing is purely focused on the agent themselves, not focused on who you can help, not focused on you. Another great example of being focused on you rather than being focused on your clients is if you’re scared to do something in your business. So a lot of times I’ll have students who are like, I’m too scared. I, you know, I’m too nervous to blank or I’m not ready yet. Or I’ve never blank, right? I’ve never done a home inspection. I’ve never written an offer. You’re more focused on you than you are on how you can help your clients. Right. Focus on literally, how can I help this person here? But it’s the best thing I can do for them. And I promise you, the more you focus on the people, you can help. Even if you don’t know quite yet how to help them. But you just say, right, like if something happened, like there was an emergency. If I was on a, on a flight or somewhere, right. I wouldn’t necessarily know what to do. But in that moment, I would say, I’m in this moment, I’m here. I’m the only person that can help them. Right. Or like in a bathroom or something. And I see a woman faint, right? I wouldn’t know what to do. I’ve never helped somebody like who fainted. But I have enough confidence in myself that I would say, I will figure this out. I am the one here. I’m the one in front of this person, my job to help them. Okay. So focus on what is happening, focus on what they’re telling you, focus on their dreams instead of you, or that the fact that you’ve never done this or the whatever you’re focusing, any time you’re feeling stuck in your business. I guarantee you it’s because you’re focused on yourself instead of them. And then the third thing to do to get, to make more money, to get clients is to tell people about who you help and how you help them. So a lot of times my students will get two out of the three, correct. Right? They’ll say I know who I help and I know how I can help them, but then they don’t tell anybody about it. And I say, you know, you’re the best secret agent there ever was. Don’t be a secret agent. Be willing to tell people about it, be willing to go out into the world and find those people, find those whose that you’ve chosen or that you’re best at helping, or you know, how to help go find them. Okay. There are so many places to find them. And the way I always think of it in my head is like, I’m going to look under the rocks. Like, where are you? Where are you? Are you here? No. Okay. I’m going to go over here. Think of it as an Easter egg, right? So often agents will post something on social media or there’s send out one email, they’ll do one or two things and they don’t get a response, but you got to just keep looking for them. You gotta keep going saying, where are they? How can I find them? Where’s another place I can look for the, for the golden egg. Okay. So you want them to start making more money? You want to, you gotta focus on getting clients. You gotta answer that question. Why should somebody choose you versus all the other options available, including doing nothing at all, then you also need to focus on your clients who that you’ve chosen in that first one, focus on them, your client, more than you focused on you. And last but not least tell people who you help and how you help them ask them if they know anybody, ask them if that’s them. Okay. So those are the three ways to start making more money. Next. We’re going to talk about how to spend money wisely. One of the things that I see a lot, I have seen the insides of a lot of real estate, high producing agents, real estate businesses. And one thing that I see is spending a ton of money, a ton of money. So just remember that how you spend money in your real estate business really is going to determine how much money you have left over and also what your business looks like. And so we have to be careful about how we spend money in our business. Now I could talk about how to spend money wisely for days, but I’m just going to give you the kind of my two biggest things about spending money in your business. That I think were my two biggest lessons, actually three, three. So when you became a real estate agent, you became a business owner, which means your expenses need to be thought of completely differently than in your personal life. What do I mean by that? You need to look at your expenses as investments in your business. Every dollar you spend in your business needs to be seen, or be like an investment. It has to be like your expenses. Don’t, shouldn’t be like what I call like vanity plate expenses, right? It should be things that grow your business period. And also remember that your expenses as a business owner, which you are, whether you know it or not as a real estate agent, your expenses become tax-deductible, which is a very good thing. And helping you keep more of your money, which we’re going to talk about here in a second. So I, this took me a very long time to understand, like in my brain to wrap my brain around because in my personal life, I am cheap as hell. Like, I’m not kidding. You can ask anybody who knows me. When they think of me, they think she’s cheap. Like she saves her money. She doesn’t spend a lot of her money. She loves coupons. She let like, I will like, I’m one of those people who like, like the Safeway gas, right points. You know, I go to Safeway so that I can get the gas points. And I go on Wednesdays to get gas at this one, Safeway that has cheaper gas, right? That is me in my personal life. But when it comes to spending money in my business, I am, I am all I can, I spend so much money investing and growing my business. Totally different way of thinking about it. Because when I spend money in my business, because I know how to spend money to grow my business, then my business grows. My business grows when I spend money in it versus in my personal life. Okay. Now I will tell you my biggest line item expense every year is education. I’m not saying that because I want you to become a student of mine. I’m telling you that because that is what I invest the most in. It’s a long story about investing in education, but it’s how I was raised. It was how I grew up that education and educating yourself is how you can change what you want for your life. It’s how you take control of your life and is how you create outcomes in your life. So for me, spending the Mo the place I invest the most in growing my business is on me investing in me. My second biggest line item is marketing, but here’s the thing. The reason that I spend more on my education than I do on my marketing is because I learn ways to make my marketing money go further. So often I see real estate agents jump to things like Facebook ads jumped to things like spending money on marketing that they don’t know yet, the strategy that’s going to work for the thing they’re spending money on. And so I so often see real estate agents spending money, really wasting money on marketing, thinking that that is the place to get a return. And it is once you know how to get a return from your marketing. So that’s why I always say, learn first apply to your marketing. Second, spend more on education than on marketing. And then, you know, there are a couple of years in there where I didn’t educate myself enough because I was like, okay, I’m implementing, I’m making this better and making this better. And then what I wanted to grow, then I spent a little less on marketing, a little bit more on education. Cause I was like, oh, I want to redo it this way. I want to learn a new, new way. So those two things for me go hand in hand in my business. And it is the biggest, those two things are the biggest line items. Because those two things, if done correctly, if invested correctly like any investment, right? You want to do your research. You want to make sure you’re making the right investment. You don’t, you know, that kind of thing. If you invest wisely in yourself in your education and then apply what you’ve learned to your marketing, those are the best ways to get a return on your investment. So when it comes to spending money in your business, remember be cheap in your personal life, invest massively in your business and in a growth way. And remember you get those tax deductions. So the dollars you’re spending out, you’re, you’re sending out, kind of come back to you and you can talk to a CPA about that. But whenever I like buy something or invest in myself, I always remind myself, there’s a part of this. And I’m kind of going to get back in the deduction. So it’s not dollar for dollar. The thing about being able to invest in your money wisely and spend wisely in your business means that you get to make more of it. And then you get to invest more, which means that you need to, that you are allowed to then grow more of it. But here’s the third, most important piece. I love this quote by Robert Kiyosaki, who said, it’s not about how much money you make. It’s about how much, how much money you keep. And I love that. And I carry, carry that with me because if your business is not set up in a way that’s structured correctly, so that you’re tracking your income, tracking your expenses in a bookkeeping way, and you have as many deductions as you can, which means having a CPA spent not doing your own taxes, right? Don’t be penny-wise, dollar-foolish, right? Spend money on the people and the things, right a bookkeeper, a CPA who really understands how to work with real estate agents specifically, or at least entrepreneurs, and can really help maximize your deductions, not just from your expenses, but other things like maybe your car and maybe your home office and things like that. Really maximizing your deductions as not a W2 employee, is totally different set of deductions. So totally different mindset, totally different type, of accountant that you want to be, that you want to be working with when you become a business owner. So the way that you are able to keep more of your money is you track your expenses. You have a bookkeeper, you do the bookkeeping yourself. A spreadsheet honestly does not work. It is not, it’s not efficient enough. You will lose track of things. And obviously things like keeping your personal expenses totally separate from your business expenses, having a good CPA who can maximize your deductions and hopefully keep more of your hard-earned commissions out of the legally, out of the hands of, you know, the IRS and in Europe, in your hands. Not just not because you’re trying to do anything dubious, but because you really want somebody who understands how to maximize the things, that W2 employees aren’t able to maximize like a home office and things like that. Like your mileage, things like that. And then you want to make sure that at a certain point, you’re doing things like, you know, deducting your own healthcare expenses, running payroll for yourself and anybody you hire and especially saving tax-free for retirement. I cannot tell you how many tens of thousands hundred, honestly, hundreds of thousands of dollars. I have saved in the 20 years of my real estate business from investing in my retirement, out of my real estate business, hundreds of thousands of dollars of my income, getting to keep it and allowing me to keep more of my income because not all it’s, I’m like a double whammy because not only am I saving for my own retirement, but that it becomes the way I set up my business with the help of my seat. CPA is that then becomes a deduction, which helps me keep even more of my money. Okay? So these are the kinds of things where it took me years and so much money wasted before I understood that I am not an employee anymore. I cannot act like one. I cannot think of my money like an employee, right? I don’t, I can’t just show up work eight hours and get a paycheck anymore. Those days are gone, right? I can’t expect to not invest in my business and in my growth, my own personal growth and expect my business to grow. It’s not going to happen. Right? Whereas when you are an employee, you show up and they give you a computer and they give you pens and you have a little, you know, you get pads of paper and you get to order things, right? No, that doesn’t happen. You got to pay for everything that you want in your business. But the good thing is, is it helps you keep more of it with those deductions in setting up your business correctly. So these are our big takeaways today. When it comes to your real estate business, you have to think of yourself, totally different. You have to totally think I am no longer an employee. I’m a business owner guy. I really switched that everything changes. And you have to think differently about money than you’ve ever had to do. You have to consciously think every single day in your business, how am I going to make money? How am I going to spend it wisely? And what do I need to do to keep more of it? In my pocket, your daily goal is creating a profitable business, creating revenue, bringing in clients. That is the job in the beginning until you have your income in a place where you’re happy with it. The only thing you should be thinking about is how do I get a client that is the job without a client, without getting clients consistently in a way that is sustainable for you over the long term, nothing else matters. You do not have a business. If you do not have clients, okay, we don’t make money just for showing up. We don’t make money for working hard. We don’t make money for being busy. We make money from doing what it takes to have a client who wants to choose us versus all their other options to help them buy or sell a home. That is it. We’ve got to think totally different about how we spend money, right? We don’t want to think about expenses. We don’t want to waste any of our money. We only want to make investments in ourselves, through our business and in our business that will help us grow our business. That is How to spend it. And for example, if you don’t know how to guarantee yourself a return on investment, then you really need to ask yourself, do I need to learn first, how to handle this marketing so that I actually get a return. I highly recommend do not do a thing. Don’t do like a tactic, right? Don’t do a Facebook ad. Don’t start spending money in places until you know how to do that skill, pay to learn the skill or spend the time to learn that skill, then start investing your money. Okay? And to keep more of your money is by seeing expenses as deductions they’re are good things for your businesses. They help your business grow and they help you keep more of your money and setting up your business to truly be a business and reap the rewards of what all that means. It means so many good things for us to take advantage of it, take advantage of those legal tax deductions, take advantage of saving for retirement and what that means for both your deductions and your savings account. And so many more benefits of being, of being a business owner over being an employee that you get to take advantage of in a good way. And what’s so great about being able to learn how to make more money, how to spend it wisely and how to keep it is. Then you get to decide what you do with it. From there, you get to decide if you want to invest even more of it into your business and grow it. If you so choose, you get to decide. If you invest the money, the money you keep in hiring more people. So you get more time back. Whether that means, you know, being able to travel, we’re being able to pick your kids home every day from school, pick your kids up everyday from school, or whether that means making an impact in other people’s lives, funding, organizations, and foundations. That mean a lot to you and ways that you can help your community and help people. If you do not learn how to make money, spend it wisely and keep more of it. You cannot accomplish any of that. And so that was my, is my goal today for you is to hopefully share some of these hard-earned lessons of how to, how to make money, how to think about making money, how to think about spending money and how to think and what to do about how to keep more of it. So I hope this episode has been helpful for you, how much we have in our bank account is 100%. I have learned this the hard way I have known it to be true. It is 100% due to how we think about money. How we think about money is what shows up in our bank account. It’s what shows up in our business. And so my goal with this episode is to help you start thinking abundantly about it, because if you can start thinking abundantly about money, then you can start making choices from that abundance place too. And that is where abundance starts. I hope today’s episode has been helpful in how you think about making money, how you think about spending money and how you think about keeping more money in your pocket in your real estate business. Because once you learn how to do those three things, anything is possible for you. So thank you for listening. I’ll see you next week. On another episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. And of course, if you want to go deeper into any of this, these subjects that I talk about here on the podcast, including money, it’s what we’re talking about all month long inside agent grad school, you can go to Hope to see you there. Thank you for listening to this episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. We purposely keep this podcast sponsor and commercial free so we can focus solely on providing real estate agents with the content that will help them grow their real estate business. And how about like, they love outside the business too, but we need your help to get this podcast in the hands of other real estate agents. So please, if you liked this episode, leave a review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening, and also tell your agent friends to listen in to thank you so much for supporting the show for being a listener and supporting other agents along your way to success. That’s what this is all about. See you next time. On another episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent. And until then come hang with me over I’ll see you there.

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