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"How I Increased Production by 186 Percent in One Year"

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Money Corner: “How I Increased Production by 186 Percent in One Year”

By Katherine Mechling


In 2018, San Francisco-based REALTOR® Shawn Kunkler was bringing in $7 million annually in production: an already impressive number, particularly considering that Kunkler had only been in the industry for three years. But after rethinking his strategy and implanting targeted action, Kunkler was able to grow his production to $20 million over the course of one year, a 186 percent increase. Here’s how he made it happen and his advice for other REALTORS® trying to do the same.

Start with a Daily To-Do List

Kunkler credits his success largely to one practice: creating a daily to-do list, drawing a big green dollar sign next to the tasks that could bring in revenue, and completing those tasks before moving on to anything else. “The to-do list kept me focused,” he says. “Forcing myself to start with the tasks that would produce revenue kept me from goofing off. It’s like if you set a goal to eat two salads a day, that naturally reduces the amount of room you have to go eat cookies and pie. The dollar-sign checklist gets you to do the most nourishing stuff first. It’s okay to spend an hour on Instagram if you’ve spent four hours in front of clients, but it’s not okay to do the hour on Instagram first.”

Learn to Recognize and Reschedule Distractions

With a revenue-first mentality, Kunkler had to teach himself to deprioritize everything that didn’t have a clear link to bringing in income — even tasks that could be useful, like redesigning his website. “We love the gratification of a new project,” says Kunkler. “We love shiny things. We’re taunted by someone else’s website looking better than ours, and it’s extremely hard to resist diving into the competition.” But often, Kunkler recognized, those tasks could be distractions; instead of focusing on projects that might one day increase revenue, he forced himself to concentrate on those that could bring in revenue immediately.

“That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do the other tasks,” Kunkler explains. “I just wouldn’t do them right away. Instead I’d look at my whole year to figure out when quieter pockets would appear. Since spring and fall are busy selling seasons, I’d save more back-end projects like cleaning up my database for the winter, when things tend to be slower. I’d still be focused on my to-do list and the dollar-sign activities during the winter, but I’d allow myself more space for those longer-term projects.”

Keep Your Financial Goals at the Forefront

“I didn’t have a good year by accident,” says Kunkler. “Everything I did, I did with my financial goals first and foremost in my mind.” Instead of adopting broad goals, like having a “better” or “more productive” year and hoping that he’d make more money as a result, Kunkler zeroed in on revenue. By doing something as simple as prioritizing revenue each and every day, Kunkler was able to close out 2019 with his goal of skyrocketed production fulfilled.


Katherine Mechling is senior editor of California Real Estate magazine.


More from the January 2020 Issue:

Pro Tip: Sharran Srivatsaa on Sustainable Business Growth

Marketing You: "You're Selling Experiences, Not Houses"

Tech Hub: 3 Video Trends You Should Be Implementing in 2020

Getting Clients: New Year, New Lead Gen

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