Before Integrator™ Laura Branca came on board, Beer Home Team didn’t have much organization in the organization. Laura joined the San Diego-based real estate company in 2015 after meeting Dan Beer, the Visionary and owner.
“Dan already had a lot of experience under his belt as a solo agent and was very interested in getting out of production,” Laura said. “When I started, he had a handful of people that did some of that work for him, but it was unstructured and not purposeful.”
That’s when Dan hired Laura.
When Laura first started, Beer Home Team had no documented processes. They used spreadsheets, paper folders, Post-it Notes, and mental Rolodexes as their “organizational system.” At the time, the real estate industry had no real business model.
Dan had tons of ideas about where he wanted to go in the real estate space. While others in real estate were using spreadsheets, Dan saw a tremendous opportunity to grow and own the use of technology in the industry. But he didn’t know where or how to get started.
Laura and Dan started reading business books because they knew that they needed a business system if they were going to get organized, grow, and succeed. That’s how they found Traction and Rocket Fuel. Through both books, they found their path forward with EOS and learned how their roles should work together.
They decided to self-implement, mainly because they were such a small team. Laura signed up for Base Camp and soaked up all the content she could. She watched every available video, downloaded all the tools, and did her best to get the team started on the EOS journey.
“It wasn’t perfect, but it was still a whole lot better than we had been doing,” Laura said. “The team was very receptive to EOS. They were craving the structure, especially the salespeople, who are much more like entrepreneurs.”
By the end of 2016, Dan was no longer in production; they had a regular meeting pulse; and Laura had created their first operations manual.
“Creating the operations manual was my first big task as Integrator,” Laura said. “We needed to have documented processes. We needed to outline what you do when somebody signs a listing. When somebody’s under contract, what are you doing? Things like that.”
They got more intentional about hiring the right people and ensuring they made decisions based on the goals outlined in their Vision/Traction Organizer® (V/TO). They continually take a hard look at The Accountability Chart™, at one point needing to conduct painful layoffs to correct bloat from previous hiring decisions.
The results speak for themselves. The team saw improvements internally, and Dan started getting invited to speak at different venues. Beer Home Team gained the organization and discipline necessary to be able to scale.
During COVID, they relied on the structure of their Level 10 Meetings™ to continue focusing on the most important things. For example, they struggled with the issue of showing houses during lockdowns.
“By finding the solution to show houses virtually, we ended up having our most profitable year ever in 2020,” Laura said. “Without EOS, there’s no way that would’ve happened.”
Although still self-implementing EOS, in 2018, they brought in Professional EOS Implementer® Victoria Cabot for a one-day self-implementer workshop. Laura said she wanted help addressing some issues interfering with their progress.
“About 30 seconds into talking with Victoria, I knew she was the right person to help us,” Laura said. “Victoria did some more coaching with me and others on the leadership team. Soon, I felt like we were back on track.”
For example, they found better ways to handle Dan’s nonstop flow of ideas. Now, whenever Dan comes to Laura with a new idea, she asks him to review their agreed-upon priorities in the V/TO®. Laura asks him where the new idea fits in their plan or if something needs to go to make room for it. She also created a share folder called “Dan’s Late-Night Ramblings and Shenanigans” that spares her inbox from messages with long, half-formed ideas.
Both avenues allow Dan to get his ideas captured for further discussion. And they allow Laura to slow down the impulse to chase shiny objects and instead talk through each of them during their Same Page Meetings®.
Lessons from Self-Implementing
While self-implementing EOS can be hard and isn’t for everyone, Laura had a few suggestions on how to be successful. Much of it comes down to personalities on the leadership team.
“First of all, I love process,” Laura said. “I geeked out on Traction when I first read it. In all honesty, I like EOS so much because it’s such a simplistic model, and the way things are taught, I never feel overwhelmed.”
In addition, Dan is a Visionary who is very receptive to being told “no.” In fact, during the interview process, he asked Laura if she would tell him “no” when she needed to.
Unlike many in the real estate industry, Laura doesn’t read as many business books as possible every year. Instead, she focuses on the tried-and-true books she knows help her, including Traction, and reads them at least once a year.
“I stick to the books that I identify with and have helped me,” she said. “I also like reading the EOS blogs for more ideas.”
Laura recommends that anyone Running on EOS™ attend the annual EOS Conference™, regardless of whether they’re working with an EOS Implementer® or DIYing it. Dan attended one year with Laura, and this past year, the head of marketing attended with her and loved it.
Finally, Laura knew when to reach out for help when she felt stuck on her EOS journey. Working with Victoria gave her the perspective and expertise she and the team needed.
“We never would’ve been able to get Dan out of production, scale the business, and have a healthy team without EOS,” Laura said. “We have operations playbook coaching forums that run for a year for people wanting to scale their business. By the end, most people end up Running on EOS because they see how well it works.”