Ep. 347: How Dan Lesniak Made $22M in Year 1

A Target Market Strategy for New Agents Plus a Broker’s Cure for “Revolving Door Syndrome”

Who should listen: New agents struggling with how to do it all with limited resources, as well as experienced agents who need a way to keep their top talent.

Key idea: Developing a value proposition boils down to saving your clients time, money, and stress.

This week’s guest is Dan Lesniak. Dan has experience as a successful agent, broker, and developer,  and what he shares during his interview is intended to help new agents as well as more experienced brokers.

For newer agents, he explains a target market strategy that enabled him to close $22M during his first year in real estate.

For more experienced brokers, he shares two plans he has implemented for his own billion-dollar real estate and development empire that have stopped the revolving door through which new agents come in and top agents go out—taking all the experience they’ve been given with them.

New agents: Become the mayor of your town

Dan and his wife Keri Shull run the highest selling team in Washington, DC. Together they lead 70 agents, and, in 2021, they closed 1,100 transactions. They’re also building investment properties and coaching other agents to build their own wealth.

When he first started, Dan ran into the same problem nearly every agent faces—he had a limited amount of money, time, and other resources. Still, in spite of this, the need to be everything to all people pulls a lot of new agents in too many directions.

Dan likens this situation to throwing pebbles at a glass building—it doesn’t have much of an effect. However, if you throw a big rock at a window, you’re going to make an impression! His point is to apply the most force to the smallest possible area to produce results.

He explains that if an agents selects between 200 and 2,000 homes and sends them useful information consistently several times a month, it’s going to have an effect. They become synonymous with real estate in their area—essentially becoming the mayor of their “town.”

The process is straightforward:

  • Segmentation: Pick a segment of the market; i.e., choose a niche.
  • Targeting: Select the group of people you want to work with that is big enough to sustain a business, but small enough to manage.
  • Positioning: Decide how to promote your value in a way that makes you different.

Dan acknowledges that newer agents worry about their positioning. New agents don’t have much (if any) experience that demonstrates their value or makes them stand out. However, when you listen to the episode, Dan explains precisely how newer agents can overcome this disadvantage.

Experienced brokers: Give your top agents their own team

New agents who are now experienced brokers know that, unfortunately, problems don’t go away—they just take on different forms. Many brokers share their same problems:

  • They hire new, raw talent.
  • They train that talent to become good agents.
  • They provide leads, coaching, and systems.

And then what happens?

These agents become better at their jobs, desire a different commission split, want more money, and then leave.

We ask Dan how he prevent this cycle from happening on his team.

One way, he says, is to change the commission split to provide the agent with a higher percentage when they bring in a lead through their own resources and sphere. Do that often enough, and Dan will cap an agent’s split.

The second way is an innovative approach that we haven’t heard from many brokers. Dan will help an agent build their own team, thereby creating multiple teams within a single team. How he does this, who gets paid what, and why it is effective in retaining his top agents are questions he answers during our conversation, so be sure to listen and take notes!

Please enjoy this episode, and we’d appreciate it if you would give us a 5-star rating and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. (Not sure how to leave a review? Click here.)

Connect | Resources

Subscribe today to get the most actionable sales and marketing tips.