Julie Wyss: 6 Steps To Becoming a Self-made Millionaire
When Julie Wyss, a broker-associate with Compass in Los Gatos, Calif., went into real estate in 2008, she says, "It was a depressing time for a lot of agents because many of them had to short-sell their homes. They were making huge money in the real estate heyday, and it all crashed." Determined to make it in real estate, Wyss took advantage of every type of education she could get. "I listened to a lot of audio, podcasts, etc. But, my aha moment was when I realized that short sales could be an opportunity. So, I got my short sale certification and focused on doing that well."
It worked. By the time four years passed, her income had jumped dramatically. It took more than a focus on short sales to achieve the type of success she wanted. Today, she has a team of two transaction coordinators who are contractors and a full-time licensed assistant (her daughter Bianca) and a full-time project manager. Wyss' sole focus is on building and maintaining relationships. Here are some of the things she did to become a self-made millionaire.
Find opportunities. Early in her career, Wyss took advantage of every opportunity available to her. “I took a class on how to do open houses, then started doing them well. I hear co-workers talking about expired listings, so I paid for an expired listing service, followed the instructions and business started rolling in. I did the same with Zillow for leads. Everything worked because I put a lot of energy and focus into it,” she says. But, she says, “I don't take on anything unless I am going to do it well. I take the time to learn how to do it and, then, commit to it.”
Focus on daily lead gen, lead conversion, and income-producing activities. “I outsource everything that doesn’t have to do with these three things,” says Wyss. “I’ve become a master at delegation, so I am focusing only on incoming-producing activities.” Wyss gets up every morning and starts prospecting. “I do an hour’s worth of lead generation, following up on leads, etc.” She adds that a daily schedule is a key to her success.
Be consistent. "Don't start anything you will not finish and if you start it, be consistent with it," says Wyss. She's currently developing a new farm area in her neighborhood. "I'm working on a one-year plan, a budget, and automating marketing. I will not start farming this area until every detail has been ironed out. I plan to work fewer hours but be super successful on this farm because I am efficient."
Schedule everything. Above, Wyss mentions that she wants to automate her marketing. "Everything I do is personal. I don't have any drip systems, so for me, automation means processes for all my marketing and a schedule," she says. She and her team write, design, and build out all postcards, emails, and blogposts a year in advance, so she doesn't spend her time proofreading and writing each month. "I can then focus on personal touchpoints, such as texting each client or organizing meet-ups."
Her No-go-back goal. "I have 10 to 13 listings at a time. My goal is to go into the house once and never go back," she says. "I go to the listing appointment, I build the relationship, and I maintain the relationship, but my team handles the rest," she says. "Don't mistake that for not being available. I am completely available to answer a text or email from a client. But, having my team handle the other tasks frees me up to handle all of those unexpected things.” Wyss adds that she sets expectations with the seller from the beginning and also explains that she is always available to them by call, text, or email.
Get good at reviews. Wyss has over 300 five-start reviews. "I am very good at letting people know where they are in the transaction. I reach out with each milestone of the transaction with a positive note. At the end [of the transaction], I ask for the review," she says.
In the end, she says, "it's important not to get caught up in the details and get drawn away from the simplicity of the process and core actions. To do that, you must trust the people you hire and spend your time on income-producing activities rather than attend inspections, hold broker tours, stage homes, or take photos." And, she says, "Believe in yourself. Don't let your age, background, education, or work history get in the way of your success. Just go for it!"