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The CPA’s Guide
to Growing Your Real Estate Career for Maximum Profit
Lisa Cahill, CPA and Kevin Cahill
Lisa Cahill, CPA
Evolve Real Estate
Lisa Cahill is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, and a Realtor with Evolve Real Estate. Lisa began
her career in public accounting in 1991, and spent 23 years as a CPA consulting corporations, trusts, and
high-net-worth individuals and families on their tax matters and filings.
Lisa became a Realtor in 2012, and is committed to bringing common sense principles and lower fees to
the real estate sales process.
The fees you pay to sell your home are one of the many elements that impact your net proceeds (the
money you put in the bank, or the money you have available for your next purchase). Of course, the
location of your home, the condition of your home, and the overall economic environment when you sell
affect your sales price -- and yet, it is the fees you pay that may really surprise you.
Evolve Real Estate delivers superior results for sellers, and charges a lot less (a third, possibly half, of
what many other brokerages charge sellers) -- helping you keep more of your hard-earned equity.
Kevin Cahill
Evolve Real Estate
Kevin Cahill is the Managing Broker of Evolve Real Estate. Kevin began his career as a Realtor in 1999
in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and entered the leadership ranks of the fastest growing residential real estate
company in 2004, as an owner/investor in five real estate companies in northeast Ohio, and then as chief
executive officer of multiple real estate offices in Tampa and Sarasota, Florida, then as the managing
broker of two offices in St. Petersburg for the largest real estate brokerage in the US.
Kevin saw that there was enormous pressure on the fees sellers pay to get their homes sold, and yet, the
largest real estate brokerages were highly resistant to changing their models or lowering their fees. He
felt that, inevitably, consumers would find a way to get their homes sold, with great assistance from
full-service real estate agents, without paying 6% or even more… and that this change would either occur
from outside the industry, or from the inside.
Evolve Real Estate is committed to changing the real estate industry from the inside, to help home sellers
keep more of their equity, while receiving full service from professional agents.
Evolve Real Estate
Superior Results and We Charge Less
Evolve Real Estate was born out of a bold experiment: Could a full service real estate brokerage give the
market what it really wants by charging sellers less than the typical 6% or more, and thrive amidst all the
noise and clutter in the real estate marketplace? The overwhelming answer is: Absolutely!
Evolve Real Estate charges sellers just 4% when we list homes for sale, and if we are the only agents
involved in the sale, we lower our fee to just 3%, passing that savings along to the seller. Our agents keep
95% of their gross commission income, and there are no additional fees to our agents… just 5% to Evolve.
Starting from scratch, Kevin and Lisa beta-tested this concept for 24 months in the St. Petersburg, Florida,
real estate market… in such a short period, they listed 52 homes for sale, handled over $23MM in real
estate, and helped their customers save over $370,000 had they paid the typical 6% or more. One seller
saved over $56,000 when we sold his home for $1,895,000 -- the highest priced home sale in Treasure
Island (and the highest dollar per square foot in 33706) in 2016. We deliver superior results.
Sellers quickly realized that this added savings allowed them to be more competitively priced when they put
their home on the market, and also more negotiable when the right buyer appeared for their home. In many
situations, the sellers received multiple offers on their homes, and their homes sold very quickly.
Grow your Real Estate Career for Maximum Profit
Make the best use of your time
Stand out from the Crowd
Pick a Niche to Grow Rich
Work from a Plan and Review that Plan Every Week
Systematize your Processes
Grow the Listing Side of your Business
Deliver Amazing Service and Value to Sellers and Buyers
Hold Every Dollar Accountable
Your Environment really Matters
Time is Money, don’t you know
Time is money. How you use your time determines the success you’ll have, and the income you’ll enjoy.
So how you spend your time is actually more important than how you spend your money.
Review your calendar, and make certain that you are blocking out time for the tasks that deliver results.
The best use of your time is to be in front of home sellers… nothing else can compare.
Make sure your calendar and your efforts gets you in front of sellers.
Buyers are a great source of income, too, and yet you’d do better spending less time with buyers, and
more of your time working to get in front of more sellers.
Do you have a message that will get sellers to raise their hands, tell you who they are, and get them to
contact you? This is the very most important use of your time… bar none.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Ask yourself what is it that you offer that no one else does? Don’t just tell people that you are “honest and
do a good job.” People will grant that you and most everyone else is honest and competent.
Be excited and LOVE your job as a real estate agent. When you meet people just simply tell them that
you are in real estate and that you LOVE it! They will most surely ask you more. Then you have the
opportunity to talk to them more.
Most importantly, be yourself. You are one of a kind and irreplaceable. Show them that you care about
them and be genuine. Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything you want out of life if and only if you are
willing to help enough people get what they want out of life.” We do this through real estate.
When we first started out, we were so excited about being able to offer much lower fees to our sellers, we
were excited to share it with everyone. We gain clients everywhere we go, handing out our cards with
how much money we save our sellers. They pass it along and are excited to discuss it with us and others.
Our true selves shine through and once we prove that we always answer our phone, have integrity and
are knowledgeable, we have genuine fans, clients and referrals. It has really worked well for us!
Pick a Niche to Grow Rich
One of the best ways to maximize profit in real estate sales, is to be an expert in addition to providing
great service at a competitive price. Sellers and buyers value an agent that knows a lot about a particular
area or type of property such as the beach area, or rental or commercial properties. If you can become a
known “expert” you will get more exposure and more referrals that turn into more business. It is
important to have a consistent message that is also compelling or useful to those who receive the
message. This could be a report of the activity in a certain area that is mailed or it could be consistent
branding with success stories in a certain area.
You should be well versed in a particular area which means you should know what is available, the pricing
and what has been sold in your market area. Get the “Hot Sheets” and preview everything you can in
your area. Discuss what you know with everyone you meet. Most people are interested in real estate.
Offer to be a resource to people who have questions. Knowledge and a genuine desire to help people will
help your phone to ring which turns into more business.
Work from a Plan and Review that Plan every Week
Decide how much commission you plan to make each month and then figure out how many people you
need to meet to get the number of appointments that you need in order to have enough sellers to give you
the amount of commission you need every month.
Based on the income plan, make a budget of each expense related to your business and make a budget.
Revisit each expense weekly and cut costs as much as you can. How much are you paying for
advertising? How much business can you attribute to each form of advertising? How much are you
paying your broker? How much of your business, education or growth can be attributed to the broker. At
Evolve, our fee is just 5% of the agent’s commission per transaction, that’s it. No additional fees or
monthly fees. We realize that if our agents are charging their clients less in commissions to be more
competitive and to gain more listings, we can not take as much from them. We like to pass the savings
first to our sellers and then to the agents that work hard for their money. Figure out how much you are
paying per year and how much business is attributable to the brokerage and then figure how much you
would keep paying only 5% with a more competitive business model. It’s a win/win every time!
Systematize your Processes
There are certain things that you must do, and must always do, to have the success you want for your
sellers and buyers, and for yourself. You need a system to accomplish all these tasks, routinely, and
consistently. Start with the tasks you perform for sellers, and jot them all down, and create a framework,
perhaps a series of checklists and forms, that you use every time. You’ll add to and refine these tools
over time.
Same thing when it comes to buyers… and also for offers you present, offers you receive, and the
properties you have under contract. And be sure to revisit and refine these tools.
Add each contact into your contact management system and your phone right away. Make a plan to keep
in touch, then in the future, every time they think about real estate they will think about YOU!
There are dozens of tasks and opportunities before you each and every day. A system will simplify your
life, and will allow you to be focused in whichever task you find yourself. And in time, these systems will
allow you to grow your business, to add on assistants and additional agents to your team, and to flourish
in your real estate agent business.
Grow your Listing Side of your Business
A seller based real estate business is a more efficient business. Time is money, so if you primarily work
with buyers, you can only effectively work on 2 to 3 buyers in any given week. You can reasonably work
with 7 to 10 sellers in one week. Once the listing appointment, research, photo’s, room measurements
and keying the listing into the MLS, there is not a lot of work to do at that point until offers and contracts
start coming in.
We found that working primarily with sellers allowed us to increase our income dramatically and decrease
the hours spent working with people that did not end up earning us any money. Since time is money,
spend that time in the right direction. Since we list property for 4% instead of 6% or more, we attract more
sellers and have a business that is thriving on mostly sellers. Some of the sellers turn into buyers that will
absolutely buy with you, so you are not wasting your time with them.
Sit down and figure out how many commissions are attributable to buyers and sellers and how many
hours you spend on each. Make a decision to do what is needed to make the shift to more sellers.
Deliver Amazing Value to Sellers and Buyers
What is different and valuable about you? It should be something more than honesty and integrity and
that you are a nice person. Most people are all that. This is what is called a Unique Value Proposition.
This is what drives your commission income!
For Evolve Real Estate our UVP is that we offer superior results and we charge less. We find it very easy
to explain what we offer. We offer low fees in addition to being an expert in our area. We have very few
listings expire and we are very accurate in our pricing which makes our listings sell more quickly often in
multiple offers within days and above asking price. What seller doesn’t want to hear that?
People can tell from talking to you if they think they can trust you, that you know your business and that
they will enjoy working with you. Focus more time on educating and less on selling them something.
Demonstrate that your listings spend less time on the market and sell for the very most the market will
give. Be accurate rather than to over promise. Being wrong makes you look incompetent.
Hold Every Dollar Accountable
Gross Commission Income - Expenses = Profit (or Loss)
Obviously, the best way to increase your income is to grow the number of closed transactions you have
each month. Simultaneously, it helps to raise the price point of your closed transactions. HOW? We did
just that by offering a 4% listing program to our seller. It really worked!
After that, you need to hold every dollar accountable to delivering more income.
Invest in QuickBooks online to track your income and expenses. You should know where every piece of
business came from and what advertising it was attributable to. Budget your various expenses and
forecast how much commission you will earn. Work toward your goals and don’t stop until you reach
them. Goals should be measurable in number of contacts that are made in a day or week or how much
should be spent in time or on a certain item.
Your brokerage fees are your largest expense, it should be reviewed and compared just like any other
expense.
Your Environment really Matters
We believe that your Environment significantly impacts your Thoughts.
These Thoughts formulate your Feelings about what you are experiencing.
Your Feelings lead you to take Action in one direction or another.
The Action you take leads you to the Results you get.
And the Results you get have a direct and immediate impact on your Environment.
And the circle goes on… if your Environment is leading you to positive thoughts, this cycle will be
incredible and productive; if your Environment is leading you to negative thoughts, this cycle will be
deflating and counter-productive.
Do you need to change your Environment? What can you do today to make your Environment better for
you, for your Thoughts, for your business success and your personal relationships. Make that change!
Brokerage model Comparisons
There are many important considerations when selecting the company you’ll keep. The cultural fit is very
important, and doing more business is mission critical, and the amount of money you keep really matters!
The split you pay your broker is often your largest expense, and you need to review these expenses and
compare that cost of business to the impact the brokerage has on your earnings each month and year.
Evolve Real Estate agents keep 95% of their gross commission, and there are no additional fees, just 5%
to Evolve.
Evolve Real Estate attracts more sellers with our lower fees, and our agents do more business, and at
higher average price points, because our model is very attractive to sellers of more expensive homes.
Other brokerages have their structures, and that’s fine… they have their approach, we have ours… we
have studied their models, and we understand them fully. Why pay monthly desk fees, or an annual
$21,000 cap, or a 30% split to your brokerage? Our 95% split is a great option to you, and you owe it to
yourself and your loved ones to explore your options.
We created our logo to represent
the changes and the opportunities
we see possible in our industry, and
in people’s lives. Your Environment
Your Thoughts
Your Feelings
Your Actions
impacts→whichimpacts→
← which impacts
←whichimpacts
which impacts →
Your Results
We created our logo to represent
the changes and the opportunities
we see possible in our industry, and
in people’s lives. Lower Fees
More Evolve Sellers
More Evolve Buyers
More Evolve Transactions
attracts→whichattracts→
← which creates
←whichattracts
which allows →
More Evolve Agents
The CPA’s Guide
to Growing Your Real Estate Career for Maximum Profit
Lisa Cahill, CPA and Kevin Cahill

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The CPA's Guide to Growing your Real Estate Career for Maximum Profit

  • 1. The CPA’s Guide to Growing Your Real Estate Career for Maximum Profit Lisa Cahill, CPA and Kevin Cahill
  • 2. Lisa Cahill, CPA Evolve Real Estate Lisa Cahill is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, and a Realtor with Evolve Real Estate. Lisa began her career in public accounting in 1991, and spent 23 years as a CPA consulting corporations, trusts, and high-net-worth individuals and families on their tax matters and filings. Lisa became a Realtor in 2012, and is committed to bringing common sense principles and lower fees to the real estate sales process. The fees you pay to sell your home are one of the many elements that impact your net proceeds (the money you put in the bank, or the money you have available for your next purchase). Of course, the location of your home, the condition of your home, and the overall economic environment when you sell affect your sales price -- and yet, it is the fees you pay that may really surprise you. Evolve Real Estate delivers superior results for sellers, and charges a lot less (a third, possibly half, of what many other brokerages charge sellers) -- helping you keep more of your hard-earned equity.
  • 3. Kevin Cahill Evolve Real Estate Kevin Cahill is the Managing Broker of Evolve Real Estate. Kevin began his career as a Realtor in 1999 in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and entered the leadership ranks of the fastest growing residential real estate company in 2004, as an owner/investor in five real estate companies in northeast Ohio, and then as chief executive officer of multiple real estate offices in Tampa and Sarasota, Florida, then as the managing broker of two offices in St. Petersburg for the largest real estate brokerage in the US. Kevin saw that there was enormous pressure on the fees sellers pay to get their homes sold, and yet, the largest real estate brokerages were highly resistant to changing their models or lowering their fees. He felt that, inevitably, consumers would find a way to get their homes sold, with great assistance from full-service real estate agents, without paying 6% or even more… and that this change would either occur from outside the industry, or from the inside. Evolve Real Estate is committed to changing the real estate industry from the inside, to help home sellers keep more of their equity, while receiving full service from professional agents.
  • 4. Evolve Real Estate Superior Results and We Charge Less Evolve Real Estate was born out of a bold experiment: Could a full service real estate brokerage give the market what it really wants by charging sellers less than the typical 6% or more, and thrive amidst all the noise and clutter in the real estate marketplace? The overwhelming answer is: Absolutely! Evolve Real Estate charges sellers just 4% when we list homes for sale, and if we are the only agents involved in the sale, we lower our fee to just 3%, passing that savings along to the seller. Our agents keep 95% of their gross commission income, and there are no additional fees to our agents… just 5% to Evolve. Starting from scratch, Kevin and Lisa beta-tested this concept for 24 months in the St. Petersburg, Florida, real estate market… in such a short period, they listed 52 homes for sale, handled over $23MM in real estate, and helped their customers save over $370,000 had they paid the typical 6% or more. One seller saved over $56,000 when we sold his home for $1,895,000 -- the highest priced home sale in Treasure Island (and the highest dollar per square foot in 33706) in 2016. We deliver superior results. Sellers quickly realized that this added savings allowed them to be more competitively priced when they put their home on the market, and also more negotiable when the right buyer appeared for their home. In many situations, the sellers received multiple offers on their homes, and their homes sold very quickly.
  • 5. Grow your Real Estate Career for Maximum Profit Make the best use of your time Stand out from the Crowd Pick a Niche to Grow Rich Work from a Plan and Review that Plan Every Week Systematize your Processes Grow the Listing Side of your Business Deliver Amazing Service and Value to Sellers and Buyers Hold Every Dollar Accountable Your Environment really Matters
  • 6. Time is Money, don’t you know Time is money. How you use your time determines the success you’ll have, and the income you’ll enjoy. So how you spend your time is actually more important than how you spend your money. Review your calendar, and make certain that you are blocking out time for the tasks that deliver results. The best use of your time is to be in front of home sellers… nothing else can compare. Make sure your calendar and your efforts gets you in front of sellers. Buyers are a great source of income, too, and yet you’d do better spending less time with buyers, and more of your time working to get in front of more sellers. Do you have a message that will get sellers to raise their hands, tell you who they are, and get them to contact you? This is the very most important use of your time… bar none.
  • 7. Stand Out from the Crowd Ask yourself what is it that you offer that no one else does? Don’t just tell people that you are “honest and do a good job.” People will grant that you and most everyone else is honest and competent. Be excited and LOVE your job as a real estate agent. When you meet people just simply tell them that you are in real estate and that you LOVE it! They will most surely ask you more. Then you have the opportunity to talk to them more. Most importantly, be yourself. You are one of a kind and irreplaceable. Show them that you care about them and be genuine. Zig Ziglar said, “You can get everything you want out of life if and only if you are willing to help enough people get what they want out of life.” We do this through real estate. When we first started out, we were so excited about being able to offer much lower fees to our sellers, we were excited to share it with everyone. We gain clients everywhere we go, handing out our cards with how much money we save our sellers. They pass it along and are excited to discuss it with us and others. Our true selves shine through and once we prove that we always answer our phone, have integrity and are knowledgeable, we have genuine fans, clients and referrals. It has really worked well for us!
  • 8. Pick a Niche to Grow Rich One of the best ways to maximize profit in real estate sales, is to be an expert in addition to providing great service at a competitive price. Sellers and buyers value an agent that knows a lot about a particular area or type of property such as the beach area, or rental or commercial properties. If you can become a known “expert” you will get more exposure and more referrals that turn into more business. It is important to have a consistent message that is also compelling or useful to those who receive the message. This could be a report of the activity in a certain area that is mailed or it could be consistent branding with success stories in a certain area. You should be well versed in a particular area which means you should know what is available, the pricing and what has been sold in your market area. Get the “Hot Sheets” and preview everything you can in your area. Discuss what you know with everyone you meet. Most people are interested in real estate. Offer to be a resource to people who have questions. Knowledge and a genuine desire to help people will help your phone to ring which turns into more business.
  • 9. Work from a Plan and Review that Plan every Week Decide how much commission you plan to make each month and then figure out how many people you need to meet to get the number of appointments that you need in order to have enough sellers to give you the amount of commission you need every month. Based on the income plan, make a budget of each expense related to your business and make a budget. Revisit each expense weekly and cut costs as much as you can. How much are you paying for advertising? How much business can you attribute to each form of advertising? How much are you paying your broker? How much of your business, education or growth can be attributed to the broker. At Evolve, our fee is just 5% of the agent’s commission per transaction, that’s it. No additional fees or monthly fees. We realize that if our agents are charging their clients less in commissions to be more competitive and to gain more listings, we can not take as much from them. We like to pass the savings first to our sellers and then to the agents that work hard for their money. Figure out how much you are paying per year and how much business is attributable to the brokerage and then figure how much you would keep paying only 5% with a more competitive business model. It’s a win/win every time!
  • 10. Systematize your Processes There are certain things that you must do, and must always do, to have the success you want for your sellers and buyers, and for yourself. You need a system to accomplish all these tasks, routinely, and consistently. Start with the tasks you perform for sellers, and jot them all down, and create a framework, perhaps a series of checklists and forms, that you use every time. You’ll add to and refine these tools over time. Same thing when it comes to buyers… and also for offers you present, offers you receive, and the properties you have under contract. And be sure to revisit and refine these tools. Add each contact into your contact management system and your phone right away. Make a plan to keep in touch, then in the future, every time they think about real estate they will think about YOU! There are dozens of tasks and opportunities before you each and every day. A system will simplify your life, and will allow you to be focused in whichever task you find yourself. And in time, these systems will allow you to grow your business, to add on assistants and additional agents to your team, and to flourish in your real estate agent business.
  • 11. Grow your Listing Side of your Business A seller based real estate business is a more efficient business. Time is money, so if you primarily work with buyers, you can only effectively work on 2 to 3 buyers in any given week. You can reasonably work with 7 to 10 sellers in one week. Once the listing appointment, research, photo’s, room measurements and keying the listing into the MLS, there is not a lot of work to do at that point until offers and contracts start coming in. We found that working primarily with sellers allowed us to increase our income dramatically and decrease the hours spent working with people that did not end up earning us any money. Since time is money, spend that time in the right direction. Since we list property for 4% instead of 6% or more, we attract more sellers and have a business that is thriving on mostly sellers. Some of the sellers turn into buyers that will absolutely buy with you, so you are not wasting your time with them. Sit down and figure out how many commissions are attributable to buyers and sellers and how many hours you spend on each. Make a decision to do what is needed to make the shift to more sellers.
  • 12. Deliver Amazing Value to Sellers and Buyers What is different and valuable about you? It should be something more than honesty and integrity and that you are a nice person. Most people are all that. This is what is called a Unique Value Proposition. This is what drives your commission income! For Evolve Real Estate our UVP is that we offer superior results and we charge less. We find it very easy to explain what we offer. We offer low fees in addition to being an expert in our area. We have very few listings expire and we are very accurate in our pricing which makes our listings sell more quickly often in multiple offers within days and above asking price. What seller doesn’t want to hear that? People can tell from talking to you if they think they can trust you, that you know your business and that they will enjoy working with you. Focus more time on educating and less on selling them something. Demonstrate that your listings spend less time on the market and sell for the very most the market will give. Be accurate rather than to over promise. Being wrong makes you look incompetent.
  • 13. Hold Every Dollar Accountable Gross Commission Income - Expenses = Profit (or Loss) Obviously, the best way to increase your income is to grow the number of closed transactions you have each month. Simultaneously, it helps to raise the price point of your closed transactions. HOW? We did just that by offering a 4% listing program to our seller. It really worked! After that, you need to hold every dollar accountable to delivering more income. Invest in QuickBooks online to track your income and expenses. You should know where every piece of business came from and what advertising it was attributable to. Budget your various expenses and forecast how much commission you will earn. Work toward your goals and don’t stop until you reach them. Goals should be measurable in number of contacts that are made in a day or week or how much should be spent in time or on a certain item. Your brokerage fees are your largest expense, it should be reviewed and compared just like any other expense.
  • 14. Your Environment really Matters We believe that your Environment significantly impacts your Thoughts. These Thoughts formulate your Feelings about what you are experiencing. Your Feelings lead you to take Action in one direction or another. The Action you take leads you to the Results you get. And the Results you get have a direct and immediate impact on your Environment. And the circle goes on… if your Environment is leading you to positive thoughts, this cycle will be incredible and productive; if your Environment is leading you to negative thoughts, this cycle will be deflating and counter-productive. Do you need to change your Environment? What can you do today to make your Environment better for you, for your Thoughts, for your business success and your personal relationships. Make that change!
  • 15. Brokerage model Comparisons There are many important considerations when selecting the company you’ll keep. The cultural fit is very important, and doing more business is mission critical, and the amount of money you keep really matters! The split you pay your broker is often your largest expense, and you need to review these expenses and compare that cost of business to the impact the brokerage has on your earnings each month and year. Evolve Real Estate agents keep 95% of their gross commission, and there are no additional fees, just 5% to Evolve. Evolve Real Estate attracts more sellers with our lower fees, and our agents do more business, and at higher average price points, because our model is very attractive to sellers of more expensive homes. Other brokerages have their structures, and that’s fine… they have their approach, we have ours… we have studied their models, and we understand them fully. Why pay monthly desk fees, or an annual $21,000 cap, or a 30% split to your brokerage? Our 95% split is a great option to you, and you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to explore your options.
  • 16. We created our logo to represent the changes and the opportunities we see possible in our industry, and in people’s lives. Your Environment Your Thoughts Your Feelings Your Actions impacts→whichimpacts→ ← which impacts ←whichimpacts which impacts → Your Results
  • 17. We created our logo to represent the changes and the opportunities we see possible in our industry, and in people’s lives. Lower Fees More Evolve Sellers More Evolve Buyers More Evolve Transactions attracts→whichattracts→ ← which creates ←whichattracts which allows → More Evolve Agents
  • 18. The CPA’s Guide to Growing Your Real Estate Career for Maximum Profit Lisa Cahill, CPA and Kevin Cahill