“I joined the EC after signing up for a trial. Although I had a successful property company, I felt I had hit a mental ceiling. I felt that having a super-successful business was for other people, not for the likes of me. All through school I was told I was stupid by parents, peers and teachers. And believe me, after 16 years of hearing this you start to believe it. However, I always had something inside me that I couldn’t explain; a certain feeling that I couldn’t quite identify. It was only when I was tested for dyslexia at the age of 24 that I changed my outlook on life due to a comment by the dyslexia examiner: “Your strengths totally outweigh your weaknesses. If you focus on what you’re good at, it will more than compensate for what you are poor at.” For me, this was profound stuff. Maybe I wasn’t stupid after all. Maybe I just had to do things differently. This was in the second year of my management degree. In the first year I was an average student, but in the second year (after my change of perspective) I won student of the year and achieved the best results in the history of the course. I hadn’t become more intelligent – in fact I now had a certificate to say how stupid I was. I simply changed my perspective.
“I’d made mistakes in business up to this point and although they were costly they were salvageable. But I knew that serious mistakes at the next level might cost me my business. That’s when I sought out the EC.
“My time in the EC has changed my perception from “not being capable of having a super successful business” to one of “this is why I exist”. This change occurred about two hours into the Masterplan event. Along with the Franchise Blueprint Bootcamp, these have been instrumental in giving me the focus to take the business forward. I have always had the drive and ambition to do it, I just lacked the knowledge. So, what have I done since joining the EC? Here’s a list!
“I developed a series of business opportunity products that sold for up to £2,000 each and provided ongoing monthly income. I repositioned the company from providing local property services to one which teaches other UK property companies how to run and grow their own businesses.
“Our newsletter, Landlord Insight, has been very popular since I started it and has got us many new clients.
New national company:
“I developed a new online property business, The Good Scottish Property Company, in which every customer gets to pick from four different charities to donate to with each purchase made through the site. This stops the geographical limits that my current property business has and gives us a nationwide reach.
“Once I got over the “customers won’t pay more” fallacy, we introduced premium management packages. This helped us reposition ourselves as a more high-end agent. I learned never to underestimate just how many customers were willing to pay for premium services. There is an unofficial industry ceiling on monthly management fees of 15% of rental income; however our VIP packages equated to an average of 17.5% and 22.5% of monthly rent, which made a massive different to our profitability. This exclusivity actually helped attract more landlords than we otherwise got trying to compete for the mass market.
“We introduced a strict application process for new landlords, rather than just taking on anyone, so we could determine whether they would be good landlords or not in order to future-proof problems. A massive step for us was taking the decision to weed out 58 of our worst landlords (costing us £3,500 a month in income). This step has made our staff happier and frees up a lot of time to concentrate on the clients who want to look after their properties and tenants (the 80/20 principle definitely applies here).
“There are so many success stories in the EC with very impressive statistics. Yes, I have some of these stats but it’s not something I focus on too much -sticking to your strengths, remember? There are numbers that are important to me – for instance, securing out largest client to date, our best month for new landlords to date and hitting our fully managed property targets.
Finally, the basics:
“These are the important things: CRM software, 90 minutes, systems, goal setting and good copy – these all make the business effective and drive growth. There are no magical secrets of success, but the basics matter. The EC teaches and reinforce the things that are just so valuable to any business – and which most business owners just don’t focus on”