Innovative thinking in Real Estate: Lisa Messenger – Episode 96

Work-life balance has been taking on additional meaning as technology is creating ways to stay connected to work wherever you may be.

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For real estate agents this brings two types of opportunities:

  • Doing what you love to do and the ability to work on your own terms; employing flexible teams that choose to work on their own terms
  • Finding suitable homes for people who choose to be more digitally nomadic, a trend that is expected to gather momentum in the future.

On this episode of Elevate, we are super excited to welcome to Lisa Messenger to the show.

Lisa is the CEO of The Messenger Group and the Collective Hub. She is a speaker, best-selling author, and a leading voice when it comes to the issues of innovation and disruption, in both the corporate sector and the start-up world.

This conversation will talk through the some of the lessons from her own ‘daring and disruptive’ entrepreneurial journey as well as unpacking some of the big lessons in her books – including Risk and Resilience, and the newly released Work from Wherever.

We talk through how she became resilient enough to weather the storm of making and breaking her own brand in the face of disruption. And we’re going to talk about building a brand while on the move.

Outline of This Episode

  • How Lisa’s business, The Collective Hub, has changed over the last 12 months
  • The trends that inspired Work From Wherever
  • Why business needs to change to embrace servicing ‘digital nomads’
  • Lisa’s message to real estate business owners who don’t like change much
  • How to embrace a new way of thinking to take advantage of new trends and opportunities
  • Why hard sells are out and how to offer value
  • How you can use freelancers to cut your wage bill
  • How to hire your “weaknesses” 
  • What if Lisa were to start a real estate business herself

There is more to business innovation than just “more sales”

The real estate industry is one of the most exciting industries out there. So much opportunity exists. But as with many businesses, contact with clients and customers is becoming more relational and less transactional. The hard-sell no longer works. Customers are looking for companies they can trust and respect.

That means real estate professionals need to learn to think differently. Find new ways to engage with clients that go beyond the actual transaction of moving homes. When you think differently, you can create ways to show that you care about people, which removes their fears about such a weighty transaction as selling or buying a home. If you stop the hard-sell and solve a problem, people will buy anything from you. Part of what it takes to innovate in real estate is learning to look through your customer’s eyes and providing exactly what they are looking for. When you’re able to do that, you’ll get really clear on what your place in the industry is – and can develop services around your mission. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Diversify, test thoroughly, and iterate. That is the true innovation in the modern world of real estate.

Could you, as a real estate professional, embrace a digital nomad lifestyle? 

It’s not only possible, it’s happening all over the world. But many who try to be a digital nomad find it hard to stay on top of things. That’s because, when you embrace the digital nomad business model and are no longer tied to bricks and mortar, you must put specific systems in place to ensure accountability.

Lisa explains how establishing specific KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) or deliverables to track contractors and other remote workers. Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and even corporations can take advantage of the opportunities offered through remote employees who travel and work from co-working spaces, on the road, and even from abroad. But it can also be disconcerting when you must adapt to the lack of regimentation.

Efficiency and productivity improve with remote work arrangements 

Lisa’s business – CollectiveHub – is all about entrepreneurs. They are learning that changing business models are widely accepted by groups such as millennials and Gen Z who want to try everything. Their goal is to remain free to pursue other interests while the arrangement boosts efficiency and productivity. A flexible work-life is also ideal for people with families. But, even with this kind of freedom, you still have to perform and deliver. It’s a privilege that can’t be taken lightly – with dire consequences if not done right.

Do you really need to meet clients face to face to close a deal? 

Real estate is traditionally a bricks-and-mortar business. Can you physically remove yourself from the transaction and still service the industry? The industry has already changed with the internet. Agents are brought into the relationship much later than they used to be.

Real Estate innovation is possible when you look outside the industry for innovations.

It’s important these days to know what your purpose is and simplify it. “Know what you stand for,” Lisa says. What ignites you? What is your why? “When you’re clear on your why, the how will take care of itself.” Lisa stays as lean as she possibly can—staying nimble and moving from project to project. She doesn’t even sign long-term contracts so she doesn’t find herself back in survival mode. She leaves us with the following quote.

“My mandate is being an entrepreneur for entrepreneurs, living my life out loud, and showing that anything is possible.”

Resources & People Mentioned

Lisa’s Books

Luxury Living subscription
Process Street
Phil Knight Books
Richard Branson
“The Tim Ferris Show” podcast
How I Built This” podcast
Luxury living subscription

Connect with Lisa Messenger

Website :
Twitter :
Facebook :
CollectiveHub :

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Samantha McLean

Samantha McLean is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of Elite Agent and Host of the Elevate Podcast.