On Shark Tank, hopeful entrepreneurs are seeking venture capitalist support and funding to grow their up and coming businesses. In real estate, hopeful real estate professionals are seeking buyers and sellers willing to invest their time and money into utilizing their services so they can make a solid living.
If you’ve watched the show, you know the sharks (QVC Lori, business mogul Robert, real estate investor Barbara, sports nut Mark, fashion mogul Daymond and investment expert Mr. Wonderful, aka Kevin) all have very specific wants, needs and negotiation styles – much like your real estate leads. In fact, there are a lot of parallels between Shark Tank and real estate, and there is a lot to be learned from entrepreneur’s mistakes and successes. Namely, how do you establish a real estate business elevator speech that will wow your “investors” (aka business leads) and make them want to work with you? Hint: read the post I just linked to. But beyond the obvious, there are dozens of other lesson to be learned as well.
Here are 3 things all real estate pros can learn from Shark Tank:
Your business strategies don’t have to be new to be successful:Let's look at an example. On a recent episode of Shark Tank, one of the investment seekers literally re-invented the wheel. He tinkered with various versions of something that's been around for thousands of years and came up with a new design that reduces friction, eliminates issues with obstacles like rocks and cracks in the sidewalk and provides a smoother experience for bikers, skaters - and even moms pushing a stroller.
The learning here is, you don’t always have to come up with an incredible new idea. Instead, take the time to evaluate what you’re already doing or what others have already done and make it better. Test different variations of the process until you find the golden ticket. Once you’ve identified what works, do more of that to scale your business. The wheel guy made money on his re-imagined idea - and you can too.
As Mr. Wonderful (aka Kevin) has been known to say, "Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas."
You must cater to your "investor's" wants and needs:You need to be very comfortable with not only what you’re talking about but also (and more importantly), who you’re talking to.
In the case of the sharks, you know that all of them are looking for innovative ideas that will appeal to an obvious market segment and will generate good returns. However, in the case of Lori in particular, she wants all of those things wrapped up in a product that will generate strong sales on QVC. On the contrary, investor Daymond wants all those things to be packaged as a product that can be mass-produced and that will do well in brick and mortar stores.
The lesson here is, you can’t pitch your service as one-size-fits-all. Entreprenuers pitching their product or service on Shark Tank have the benefit of knowing the personalities of their potential investors ahead of time - you don't.
To make the most of each new client opportunity, research your leads online (on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to get a feel for their lifestyle, then set up an initial investigative meeting and ask a ton of questions about their wants, needs, concerns and ideas. From there, use the intel you gathered on what their priorities are and build your marketing and service strategy around it.
You must be able to prove your success:Revenue streams and growth potential matter on Shark Tank – and 'sold homes' showcases and testimonials matter in real estate.
When Shark Tank investors start asking tough questions about profit margins, scalable business practices and revenue projections and they are met with vague answers, wild projections or, worse, a blank stare - eye rolls and deep sighs ensue. Anyone can talk about theoretical success, but being able to prove it with numbers and case studies that show realistic outcomes is critical (and difficult!).
That’s why referral business is so powerful, because your potential investors hear from a current investor that you’re a safe bet and you’ve given them good returns. But it's not as easy with non-referrals, so be prepared to show off your successes with hard data that can be verified and testimonials from past clients that can be legitimized. Doing so will allow you to build a business that will continue to grow over time.
Use our free, customizable listing presentation template (includes 'sold homes' showcase and testimonial pages).
Incorporate these Shark Tank learning’s into your day-to-day business practices to attract more potential clients and convince them to invest in you and your business.