Chris Watters is best known for building an independent brokerage utilizing the team-centric model in Austin, Texas. He built his business, Watters International Realty, in the middle of the Great Recession and in a highly competitive market that is home to some of the largest national real estate chains. His vision and entrepreneurial spirit led him from sleeping on his girlfriend’s (now wife's) couch in 2010 to becoming the first team owner to EARN $1Million in net income in three short years.
Fueled by a desire to improve the success rate of real estate agents through proven training and innovative consumer-facing programs, Chris has built his business on helping others push past their self- imposed limitations and adding massive value to the consumer experience. In 2015, Watters International Realty began opening branches across Texas and partnered with other successful agents and team leaders, assisting them in duplicating our success. In 2016, his team successfully closed over $100+ Million in sales and helped hundreds of families in the purchase or sale of their home.
As of 2017, Watters International Realty is now a national franchise system that has developed a proven and repeatable model to help expansion partners grow their brokerages using the team model. His partners have the ability to replicate the key ingredients used to make Watters International Realty in Austin, the recipient of the #1 Real Estate Team by the Austin Business Journal, Inc. 5000 Recipient for Fastest Growing Privately Held Company and the recipient as one of the top real estate teams reported by Real Trends in the Wall Street Journal.
- Who is Chris Watters?
If Chris had to think of himself as a superhero, the one that comes to mind is The Hulk. Bruce Banner was more focused on research and learning, wasn’t super flashy and was more introverted, and Chris identifies with his humility.
Real estate was not Chris’s focus initially, in college he ran a lawn mowing business that paid his way through school and he preferred to take classes on the stock market. In his younger years, he liked to learn how to build websites. All of which had nothing to do with real estate.
Chris’ path into real estate is a long winding tail that goes from working in real estate for a few months, moving into the oil and gas industry, losing everything in trying to run a bar and restaurant, rebuilding his life by starting a lead generation company, and then ultimately getting back into real estate. During the process, Chris became psychologically unemployable and being an entrepreneur was his only option. His time in the oil and gas industry actually allowed Chris to learn a lot about the back end technical aspects of real estate that most agents never get to see.
- Lead Generation and Real Estate
As a young man, Chris was pretty ignorant of the risks of running a brokerage but he managed pretty well. His skills with lead generation turned out to be perfect for the business, he was generating so many leads that he had to hire more people just to handle the deal flow.
In the B2C world, lead generation can be easy. Google Adwords, retargeting campaigns, and content creation work pretty well. SEO is great too, but it’s a long-term play and paying for Adwords is a much faster process. It’s about leveraging the low hanging fruit.
The stage of your business dictates the lead generation strategy you should be using. If you’re a small business with a limited amount of money, you should go after the cheaper lead sources. The more expensive forms of lead generation like TV ads and direct mail take time to become effective but they have a very high conversion rate.
- Why write the book?
Chris was 21 when he got into real estate, and the only reason he got out was he didn’t see the path to a higher income, he didn’t understand how to scale his career. Once he started building the business, he wanted to show his people exactly how the trajectory of their career should go.
The only reason you lose talented people is they don’t see any upward trajectory. Tony Robbins says “Happiness is derived from progress.” When you find amazing people, you must have a clear upward trajectory for them.
There are three distinct phases of growth you go through as a business. Every business has seven key pillars that have to be leveraged as they grow. The vision, mission, and core values are what inspires people to join your organization and share your purpose.
Every lead generation strategy has a cash conversion cycle, some mediums require more time and money before you start seeing an ROI from the efforts. Marketing is not something you do in jolts, it’s an ongoing thing and takes time to ramp up and develop the brand equity.
- Just Getting Started With Lead Generation
Start a local business person mastermind, after a few months ask them to commit to being a preferred vendor in exchange for a contribution to your lead generation efforts.
Reference: The Million Dollar Real Estate Team, Chris Watters
- Chris’s Takeaway
You have to embrace the journey of the suck in the moment, zoom out and realize that this is just one point in time in your journey to mastering your new business. Keep perspective when you are starting something new and it will keep you from beating yourself up. Check out Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins.