5 ways to bring CEO thinking to your business

As real estate agents we all love to dig in and ‘get on the tools’, which is usually the business of selling houses. But who’s steering the ship? Caroline Bolderston explains why stepping into the CEO’s shoes can help guide your passion with purpose.

You may have noticed that every large business has a chief executive officer at the helm.

As businesses grow, they recognise the need to hire an individual who is responsible for the overall success of the business and has the ultimate authority to make final decisions.

The CEO sets the culture and business standards and they determine the mission and core values.

They are responsible for creating, planning, implementing and integrating the strategic direction of the business to meet their financial goals.

They steer the ship from above while the technicians and operators are on the ground focusing on the activities that drive revenue and volume.

Does this sound familiar?

Real estate is an entrepreneurial industry where you can choose a marketplace and start a business, either as a sales agent or a principal.

You then assume the financial risk for the sake of profit.

The entrepreneurial spirit comes alive as you back yourself to set a course to success.

All too often, the role of CEO goes uninhabited.

The vision is often left unformed or underdeveloped as you, the entrepreneur, focus most of your time on the core skills of listing and selling and being completely immersed in the doing aspect of the business.

It’s become abundantly clear that as the entrepreneur, you also need to slip on the CEO shoes regularly.

Whether you are starting a new business or have been operating for some time, now is an opportunity to look at things a little differently and develop your inner CEO.

Here are the five most important areas to focus on to bring CEO thinking into your business:

  1. Start with a detailed business plan.
    I know you have probably heard this before, so there must be something in it. The plan for your business is the guiding map for your ultimate destination.

    It will include your vision and values and give you clear benchmarks for success and operating standards. It creates the framework for you and your team to perform and grow within.

    Without it, you could either succeed by accident, which is not reliable, or fail by lack of design.

    If you were at AREC, I hope you took Tom Hector up on his offer to email you his incredible business plan. It’s no accident he is a super-agent. He has meticulously planned it that way.
  2. Embrace routine.
    Chief executive officers work to a timeline, they have structured days and clear agendas for meetings. They establish a reliable routine that can be replicated for efficiency and deliver outcomes.

    You may be in this industry for the flexibility it provides. For most, this flexibility can be a curse. It leaves you with too many options of what and when to do things. Develop your routine and hit repeat.

    3 Create your daily focus.
    Chief executive officers understand the importance of knowing the outcomes they need from each day. They also share this with key team members who are responsible for delivering on deadlines and results.

    Create the habit of writing down your top fives every day during your morning preparation time. What you focus on expands, so imagine your results if you narrow your focus like this every day.

    4 Monitor your success.
    There is a reason scoreboards exist in sport. If no-one kept the score at a football match and each team didn’t have a clue whether they were in front or behind, or how narrow the lead was, how would the game change?

    The intensity would wane, the drive to push through, go harder, create the opportunity and perform with urgency would diminish. If you are not keeping score daily, you are immediately at risk of dropping the ball and having a bad week, a bad month, a bad quarter and a bad year. This is something a CEO would never let happen.

    5 Schedule in business reviews and reporting time with a mentor – CEOs do not steer the ship alone.
    They have scheduled meetings with department heads and often meet with the board to review the results and take stock of initiatives and key performance benchmarks.

    Chief executive officers seek insights and guidance and collaborate with others who support the vision of the business. The CEO ultimately makes the decisions, just like you do, and this becomes so much clearer with an outside perspective.

    No matter how established or new your business is, or how big or small – as a sales agent or a principal, you are ultimately the CEO. So, isn’t it time you owned the title and started wearing the CEO shoes?

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Caroline Bolderston

Caroline Bolderston heads up Being Bold Coaching and training, which provides coaching and support for Sales Agents, Sales Teams and Principals. For more information visit