Bubba Mills: ‘You don’t have a job, you have a career and make dreams come true’
Degree, school: Streets of San Diego
Location: Oceanside, California
What’s your favorite activity outside of work and why?
Vacations with my wife are my favorite activities. We love to spontaneously pack up the RV and drive to a lake for the weekend. Don’t get me wrong; going to an island or a beach is awesome, but sometimes parking in the wilderness with a great campfire is very romantic and calming.
Approximately how many real estate agents do you coach? How many real estate agents does your business coach?
I personally coach real estate agents, mortgage companies, asset management companies and small businesses. Keeping our same philosophies as our real estate clients, I coach every department within the company, which means over several weeks I will have two to five calls with each client. Corcoran Consulting and Coaching, as a company, coaches on any given day approximately 285 clients.
Do you measure the average return on investment (ROI) of your clients? If so, what is it, and how exactly do you measure it?
Measuring ROI is solely dependent on the client’s definition of success. Some clients hire me as a coach to increase net income, some hire to me so they can have a work/life balance, and some come to me to build their companies up to sell. Asking me what my average ROI is of my clients is like asking 50 people what success is — you will get 50 different answers.
Do you think some holidays are kind of annoying? Why?
Valentine’s Day is annoying to me. It is so commercialized to the world that it forces someone to give to someone they love because of the holiday. I have never and will never need a holiday set on the calendar to tell my wife that I love her and thank her for marrying me (and, of course, for staying married to me). I do it on Jan. 12, March 28 and Aug. 13 — because I love her, not because Florists’ Transworld Delivery wants me to buy her flowers at a discount!
Different people have different needs, but what specific business strategies do you seem to find yourself recommending most often to real estate agents?
Operational excellence and systems for success!! More often than not, when a client comes to me, the client has no systems in place to be able to handle more business but is paying $1,000 to $5,000 per month for lead generation and advertising. After a couple of coaching calls, I discover that less than 50 percent of leads were actually followed up on. I don’t mean that they made one call, or sent one email; what I mean is that they do not incubate their leads in a customer relationship manager (CRM) or launch a drip campaign to keep in touch with their leads.
Quit paying thousands of dollars for leads when you can follow up with only 50 percent of them. Build a team, build a system and create higher lead conversion — not just more leads.
What are some common hang-ups or weaknesses that keep real estate agents from realizing their full potential?
The 6 inches of muscle between their ears! To reach your full potential, you need to work out daily.
Compare real estate agents to professional athletes: Every day they stretch (role-play), every day they memorize their game plan (scripts) and every day they practice their skill (prospecting). For some reason, real estate agents forgot how they started their career: prospecting, door-knocking, open houses, and wearing their name badges proudly on their chests when they walk into coffee shops.
How do you address those hang-ups or weaknesses through coaching?
It is amazing how a five-minute conversation with real estate agents about how they got their first lead, closed their first deal and made their first commission check puts their minds back into prospecting mode. Every day you need to prospect; every day you have to send out a handwritten note card; every day you need to talk to a past client; and every day you need to realize that you don’t have a job. You have a career, and the outcome is making people’s dreams come true.
How much does the average client pay your business for coaching every month?
We have programs from $49 per month, up to $5,000 per month. And on a side note, clients don’t pay my company; they invest in their future.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve faced in growing your business, and how have you tried to overcome it?
The biggest obstacle in the coaching industry is the stigma that all coaching companies are the same when, in fact, most coaching companies are different and have different philosophies. Corcoran Consulting & Coaching specializes in teams, franchises and independent companies. Each coach has a team behind them to service the needs of our clients; it is not just one-on-one with a coach and a client.
What do you do when you want to relax?
Spending quality time with my wife, children and grandchildren is my No. 1 priority! I also donate time to nonprofit organizations to help out local communities. God gave me the ability to create wealth, so why not share that ability with the underprivileged and give them the opportunity to have a great quality of life?
Do you think coaching is more popular in real estate than in other sales industries? If so, why? If not, why?
No! I coach several companies that are not in real estate. If you take a step back and look at the [big] picture, what we coach a real estate agent on is 80 percent transferable to any company. We coach that real estate agents are independent contractors, and they make a living being paid on a 1099 (at least a majority of them do). If you are an independent contractor, then you have to act like the CEO of your company, because truly you are the CEO. You have to create a business plan, create business, service business and serve your clients, and follow-up with your past clients. Isn’t that every company’s business model? I compete with coaching companies in all sectors of business. I have a coach who works with me — everyone should have a coach!
Have you ever been a real estate agent?
Funny story. Growing up in California, I owned a mortgage company and I was licensed by the Department of Corporations, which superseded the Department of Real Estate, so I could not be licensed — so my wife got licensed.
Do clients often begin coaching agents themselves? If so, why?
Yes, and I promote this practice. Everyone is a coach, mentor, adviser or counselor of some type. Giving back to your trade is the most important thing that we can ever do. Copying someone is the biggest form of flattery that can ever exist.
Do your coaches typically have coaches themselves? If not, why?
Yes. Bob Corcoran and myself, along with Katherine Ross, our director of coaching, coach every coach in the company. Some of our coaches also have life coaches and financial advisers or coaches.
How should real estate agents measure success?
By the lives that they live and the memories that they create in their clients’ lives! Units, transactions and volume is how most real estate agents measure success. To the person dreaming of homeownership or the person wanting to sell their house, units, transactions and volume mean nothing. Here is a statement that I have been teaching for years: “People don’t care what you know until people know that you care.” We deal with people’s dreams on a daily basis, and all they want to know is that when you are talking to them, they are your only client!
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