Your Plan of Execution is Your Superpower

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About This Episode

You’ve created a business plan for 2023, but as the market shifts, are you executing it to make the most of your time and ROI? Perhaps you need to make some adjustments. This week on The Walkthrough™, Zandra Ulloa shares the plan of execution that earned her the title of #1 Mega team in CA by selling two billion dollars in real estate.

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Links and Show Notes

Full Transcript

(SPEAKER: Lisa Johnson Smith, Host)

Lisa: If you’re like most agents, you’ve got your 2023 plan in place, and by now you’ve begun to roll it out. You keep telling yourself to just stick with the plan. Well, someone once said planning is a skill and an art that takes a lifetime to master. Our guest today has mastered the art of executing her plans in this lifetime, a plan of execution that earned her the title of number one mega team in California for units and volume sold.

Zandra: That is the only way that I’ve been able to run a large team of almost 60 agent partners, doing an average of 800 transactions every single year where 70% of that is SOI. It’s because we know exactly where our time, attention, efforts, and consistency are going to, every minute of the day.

Lisa: That was the voice of Zandra Ulloa, and she’s gonna share with you the plan of execution that she calls her superpower. This is The Walkthrough™.


Lisa: Hey there. I’m Lisa Johnson Smith, and welcome to The Walkthrough™. This is a weekly show. New episodes come out every Monday. This is the show where you learn what’s working right now, from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re here to explore how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.

There are so many quotes out there that underscore the importance of planning. Here’s one. “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything,” —Dwight Eisenhower. “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” –Alan Lakein. And Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” But how you execute your plan is just as important as the plan itself. That’s what’s gonna actually get you from point A to point Z, from conversation to sale. And I tell you, that Z should stand for Zandra, and Team Z.

You already heard a little bit from her at the top of the show. Zandra is the CEO, owner, and head associate of Team Z Active Realty in the greater San Diego, CA area. On today’s show, you’ll hear us talk about the plan of execution that led her team to sell $2 billion in real estate. She’s gonna share the red, yellow, and green system that she uses with her team that she says enables her to be superhuman. She’ll share what she does on a daily basis to keep her vision current and why she plans backward, her script to encourage her agent partners to work harder, her advice for solo agents, as well as for agents on a budget, and how having a healthy dose of fear has helped her to do the unimaginable. So, get ready to take some notes. Here’s my conversation with Zandra Ulloa.


Lisa: We wanna talk about what our listeners can do to be sure they’re executing their plans to maximize their time and their ROI. So let’s talk about your plan. I mean, have you always used this type of execution plan, or did it take some trial and error? Let’s start with that.

Zandra: Well, you know, they say that success comes overnight, which is probably the worst statement that anybody can say, right? It takes 3000 days minimum to really see success. And so, to really approach how to execute the perfect plan is a lot of failure, a lot of lessons, and a lot of, most importantly, working backwards. So, this is a plan of execution that I have learned over time that works best for me. But we found a framework that can work for anyone, and the reality is approaching the execution by working backwards.

Lisa: What do you mean by that?

Zandra: So, think about your every day. What are the non-negotiable items in your every day, that you just can’t get around? What must be done for you to stay sane? What must be done for you to be able to come back home and feel good about the efforts that you did while leaving home, your comfort? These are little things that start with ending your day. Work backwards. What time would be the healthiest time for you to officially put your phone away, put your computer down, where it would then open up the most important time, which should be a non-negotiable, family time, health, fitness, planning your next day? The little things that most people forget take time in order to be consistent, to execute in a way that would make you feel like, okay, even if I may not procure the best results after my effort, at least I feel good about it. At least I feel like I gave my best, I had a plan, I executed, and now I’m okay with whatever my final results are. Excuse me.

So, it allows you to react in a way that, you know what? My best should be good enough, and I’ll try again tomorrow. So, when you start with working backwards, you start with a plan of, what time would you like to end your day at? Before that, what time are you driving home by? Especially for those agents who have to travel to brick and mortars, will it take them only 10 minutes to get home? Will it take them an hour, depending on what time? Well, in that hour of drive-time, Lisa, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna rest and relax? Are you gonna listen to a podcast? Are you gonna listen to something that’s gonna motivate you? It’s those in-between times that are the most valuable for someone to find comfort and peace within the decision that they make every single day.

Then you have your standard, what’s the in-between? You know, when you get to the office, are you having talk time? Are you actually having the time with your colleagues? Are you feeling that you are collaborating? Are you engaging with what they’re doing, and maybe picking their brain? That’s, again, where people forget that they can grow a lot faster by reaching out to the people who know, love, and trust them, and wanna see their growth as well. It’s a give and take. You gotta take your lunches, you gotta get to the office, you gotta make your prospecting time, you gotta go on your appointments. Those are the all in-betweens.

And then you start with, what time am I actually going to sit down in my actual desk? What time am I gonna walk into the office? But before then, you have your drive time. And before then, you have your get-ready time. And before that, you have your stretch and affirmations time. And then you actually wake up. As silly and as crazy that sounds, you have to be that intentional and that specific. That is the only way that I’ve been able to run a large team of almost 60 agent partners, doing an average of 800 transactions every single year, where 70% of that is SOI. It’s because we know exactly where our time, attention, efforts, and consistency are going to every minute of the day.

Lisa: Now, that is, wow. That’s really minute-by-minute, almost, planned out, down to, like, the second. I think, you know, some people can follow this, but not everybody is so regimented, or can be so regimented. What if you’re not that type of person? I mean, do you literally follow each of these things every day, without fail?

Zandra: Every day. And I’ll tell you, it’s my approach. Do I get it all done every day? Absolutely not. That’s psycho. But I’m realistic with working on my calendar every single week. What am I talking about? If I have something in my calendar and I don’t do it, then I’m gonna X it out. But if I do it, I’m gonna highlight it or circle it that it was done. And I’m gonna try to intentionally find the commonality of what I like doing, what I’m getting done, what I should be doing, and what I’m not doing. And then I work backwards to say, “Okay, Z, how did you feel? Why didn’t you get something done? Did you just overextend yourself, or did you just not feel like doing it?” And then I go back into, okay, how can I get better at staying disciplined?

So, to answer your question, do we really do this? Is it a regimen? It is a routine. See, commitment is all about making the decision that you’re fully in before you even figure it out, right? It’s consistency. It’s the confidence in yourself that you’re gonna stay consistent, but it’s gonna be the discipline in your commitment. So, if you say, “Okay, are you really doing all this stuff?” Actually, 90% of the time I am. But I’m trying to find where are the gaps? Where am I being unrealistic? Where am I lying to myself? If I didn’t do the same task week one, and I didn’t do it week two, am I really gonna do it week three? The answer is “no”. So, I’m not gonna lie to myself. And just as we approach every agent in their business plan, we ask them to please take a look at your efforts. Effort doesn’t always lead to success, momentum, but success leaves clues.

So, if you find out that because you did X, Y, and Z and they reaped success, I’m gonna do more of that. But if I see that I did A, B, and C, and it just got me nowhere, and it got me spinning my wheels and it didn’t really reap me production and productivity, then I’m gonna take time to say, okay, I need to be more disciplined in finding out the “why” behind it. Why didn’t I do something? And reality is, the number one thing that everyone should be working on every single day is not planning for the year but planning for their career. If you’re going in, you’re like, “Okay, I’m gonna go in with the best year ever. What am I gonna do? I’m gonna do X, Y, and Z. I’m gonna do A, B, C.” Well, if you’re only planning to do those six things, you’re failing for your future.

You have to figure out, “What am I doing that’s challenging me that I’m saying ‘no’ to and what am I doing that’s challenging me, that I’m at least giving it a try.” If you keep seeing the same things being crossed off, you’re doing good. And if it’s reaping success, great, but if you keep seeing the thing that you tell yourself you should be doing that you don’t wanna do but you probably know that’s where success is, you’re not planning for your career. You’re planning to make a decision every single year. Am I gonna stay in this career?

Lisa: So, what do you do when you find those things that you have not crossed off consistently? So, what is the next step of action to take?

Zandra: Figure out the solution on how to get better, whether it’s the discipline, whether it’s the skill, because it’s not the will. It’s will you do it? Well, will you find the time to get more confident in the skill that you need in order to get that task done? So, if you’re not busy, you have to at least pretend to be busy. Pretend that you’re in an escrow, learn how to do more contracts, write up more emails, learn new verbiage. Think about how I can be the best version of myself. So, if you’re not actually transacting, if anything, you’re getting better, personally. You’re being the best version of yourself, and you’re filling in those gaps that, okay, I didn’t do this because I probably was scared that I was gonna get a “no”. Well, the more “nos” you have to listen to and hear, the more opportunities and chances you’re gonna hear the “yes”. And then you’re gonna build that confidence over time. Right?

Lisa: Right. I wanna get back real quick to what you just mentioned, though. So, sometimes those things that we don’t check off repeatedly, it’s because we just don’t wanna do them. We procrastinate. You know, everybody has their New Year’s resolutions, and I’m sure a lot of people by now are like, “Oh, shoot,” you know, “I messed up already.” So, is that possibly something that you look at and you say, “Well, maybe I’m gonna delegate this thing, because I realize this doesn’t have to be a non-negotiable. It can be delegated.”

Zandra: A hundred percent. So, the only reason why I’m able to be the superhuman and somewhat of a robot is because I have taken myself out of that responsibility. So, we on Team Z work on what’s called the red, yellow, green system. Red means only you can do it. This means that before me, as a founder and CEO of Team Z, my client no longer are consumers. My client is the team, or my agent partners. So, if I have to be that one person to have that communication with my agent partner, and to do the business plan, to me, that’s a red. They signed up to be my partner, not my marketing manager’s partner, not my sales director’s partner, not even my operations manager’s partner. They signed up for me. So that’s a non-negotiable. That’s gonna always stay red.

The yellow is gonna be, okay, what can I do that I could teach someone to do, and at least it getting done is getting done? It’s not gonna be perfect, right? It’s not gonna be the way that I would do it, but at least it’s getting done, it’s getting started. I can teach someone to do it, I can delegate it, and if anything, I can check their work.

And then green is, you know what, teach them, one and done. Who cares if it’s perfect, but it’s getting done. These are, like, your flyers. These are your client updates. Sending out your pop-by letters, your gifts, planning for events. It’s going to get done, and it doesn’t matter if it’s gonna be perfect or not because nothing in life is perfect, but at least it’s getting done. So, working a red, yellow, green system on a daily basis, to figure out what can I give and delegate out to a virtual assistant, a personal assistant, or even a brand-new agent who wants to learn, let them try it. Don’t let them fail. Let them learn, and you teach them through it. This is how each agent hyper-fasts their success on Team Z, because we are teaching them hands-on, we’re in-field, we’re delegating, and we’re challenging their comfort. And it’s the same thing for myself. I’m challenging my comfort by giving more yellows and greens away.

Lisa: Let’s talk about the next point in your execution plan. You mentioned, when we spoke before, vision and purpose.

Zandra: The reality is, is when you have a clear vision on what you’re doing, whether it’s a day-by-day, a year-by-year, or a 10-year plan, it really doesn’t matter if your vision and your results match. What am I talking about? The mission is, if you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and if your why is not changing on a constant basis, then you are settling. So, I encourage every single individual that if you say, “My vision is to have a team of 20 agent partners by, you know, five years in the business,” great. Stay focused on just getting to that point, and failing forward. And if you look at your mission and you’re like, “Well, I don’t really know what my mission is. I don’t know really why I’m doing this. I’m doing it for the fact that I wanna have financial freedom,” great. “I’m doing this because I wanna build a large team.” Well, don’t forget that in that vision and that mission, you’re gonna have a lot of failures. You’re gonna have a lot of heartbreak. Leadership is heartbreak. Okay?

And going back into you asking, does everyone do what you tell them? Absolutely not. But I have a hope that they will. But I have realized in my mission and in my vision, I cannot want this more than somebody else. And so, this is why my vision stays the same, but my mission constantly changes. My mission with every single one of my agent partners, and even my mission for myself, it falls in line with, as silly as it sounds, with my everyday calendar. My mission sometimes is just to wake up. That’s it. So, that’s why really being able to distinguish the difference between your vision and your mission, and what you’re doing on a daily basis, isn’t just to serve other people. It’s to serve yourself too, and make sure that you stay sane while serving other people.


Lisa: Hey, this is Lisa Johnson Smith. How would you like to have a say in future episodes of The Walkthrough™? How would you like to ask my guest your own follow-up questions and connect with other listeners to help them, and learn from them? Well, you can do all of that and more in our Walkthrough™ Mastermind community on Facebook. Just go to Facebook, search for “HomeLight Walkthrough™”, and it should be the first group you see. Click “Join”, and come be a part of our community.

Lisa: Coming from somebody like yourself, who’s so successful, who, you know, owns this hugely successful brokerage, your team and you have sold, you know, over a billion dollars in real estate, you know, I think it’s commendable that you talk about that. But I think also a lot of other people can relate, because I think there’s so many people that aren’t willing to say, “You know what? This can be hard.”

Zandra: Yeah. You know what? For me, I would be lying to say that getting to sell over, it’s actually now $2 billion in nine years, which I’m very excited, we’re pretty much, if, by the time it’s said and done, we’ll be two years, number one team in California, out of all brokerages, as a mega team. And I wanna share that in getting to where I am at today, I obviously didn’t get there alone. The leaders that I started with are not gonna be the leaders that I’m gonna finish with, and even start the new year with. It’s more of the hope that by the end of 2023, I’m gonna have more leaders who understand themself.

So, sometimes you may tell yourself that you want the title of a leader. I truly believe everyone is born a leader. It’s just those who take the reins, who go in without fear. Because, there’s two things. Fear does lead me, because I wanna challenge myself all the time. I’m fearful of failing. But at the same time, I welcome fear because when I have put myself in a place of fear, I have done things that I could never imagine that I could ever do. And just going back in the sense of me not doing this alone, I was a solo agent for three years. I actually turned team members down because I felt like, “No way am I gonna take on a team of responsibility, and acknowledge that I’m gonna lead them forward, but I haven’t even done it myself.” That’s not fair. It’s not fair to them. It’s not fair to me.

So, when I tell the story of I did the solo thing for three years, and then I’ve now done the team thing for six years, I could never ever see myself doing the solo again. And what I’m talking about is, I’m not talking about a solo agent and a brokerage. I’m actually talking about the days that I don’t feel like waking up, I know that when I can’t give 100, my next team partner can. And they’re okay with it. Because I’m aligned with people that get that I’m human and that I need grace as much as they do too. So, as long as we’re willing to fail forward together, as long as we’re willing to do this together, being alongside a brokerage that’s constantly pushing me to be my best version is one where, is the reason why I win.

But two, it’s the relationships that I’m cultivating, that they’re cultivating, and the relationships within the team, that my partners are saying, you know what, screw the fear at this point. I’m gonna go have 20 more conversations today with other people that are more qualified than me, so I can figure out how I can get to a room of individuals who make me feel that I’m the dumbest and I’m the brokest, because those are the rooms I wanna be in.

So, that’s the focus, right? The leader has to have the mentality that they are not the best. Because the minute that you feel that you are your best is the minute that you stop growing, and you’re going to stay stuck and stagnant in that position. And that’s never healthy, because someone will outgrow you, and someone will outshine you. And if you don’t check your ego right then and there, that you are not at your best and you always have room for improvement, that’s where I can say, I can only hope my leaders who started the year with me will end with me.

Lisa: You had talked about mindset and skillset being the only two things that matter. How much does that play into what you were just talking about?

Zandra: So much. I mean, we all now experiencing the new market of 2023, that we obviously enter the new year with. We have the unknown, right? Our rates are volatile, our buyers are confused. Is it now? Is it later? Am I really not making the right decision paying someone else’s mortgage? It doesn’t matter if you’re paying someone else’s mortgage, if that makes sense for you to do. Some people may not want to set roots in the very city that I know, love, and wanna be a part of. But we can’t make people feel that they’re making the wrong decision. It’s the same thing. The same way that we guide a consumer is the same mindset we have to guide each other in our industry. If we’re constantly telling someone that they’re making the wrong decision because their mind is not right, give them the opportunity to figure it out, right?

So, when agents join the team, we ask them, what are your goals? And let us help you get to where you believe our alignment will be, and give us the privilege and the acknowledgement that you’re gonna allow me every single quarter to say, “Hey, Lisa, you said you wanted to close four units this past quarter. You were able to close two.” Now, I know you have two more pending, but that really means that you are two behind entering into your quarter. So, number one, do I still have the privilege to guide you as you asked me to? Yes I do. Perfect. Your mindset is you still agree that I am the partner for you. Two, you’re now no longer acknowledging, or at least meeting what you wanted to do. My goal as your team partner, as your lead, is to help push you beyond your comfort zone. You’re comfortable right now, Lisa. What do I have to do to shift your mindset that you actually need to work a little bit harder?

Now, understand, I acknowledge your effort. I understand you’ve given everything that you possibly can and you’re okay with what you’ve given, but it’s still not enough. So, what do I have to help you with right now to shift your mindset that, unfortunately, you gotta push harder, because I don’t want us to get to the end of the year and you’re unhappy with your results, even though I’ve been able to be there 100% to give you your push and your accountability. So, we’re constantly asking our partners, are you in the right mindset? Do you feel that you have given your best? Or do you feel that you’ve settled because you closed six escrows your first quarter, you only really wanted four, so now you’re chilling? Right? What else can I do to help you feel that you thought you could only do 24, but the reality is you can actually do 40. How would it make you feel knowing that you made $200,000 more because you pushed yourself beyond the mindset and the potential you said that you had? It’s a constant battle.

Lisa: And does the mindset also… Is that also a part of your approach and content specialty, figuring out what your specialty is?

Zandra: Absolutely. We actually, on our team, when we do our interview process, we really have, like, a three-step process. And the reason is is because we’re very protective of our culture. And it’s not that we’re only choosing a certain type of person. We just really are super honest about, this needs to be a safe place. “Come as you are, but don’t expect to remain the same” is our team motto within the partnerships. So, when I share that with our process in doing, you know, the onboarding and the interviewing, what we need to ensure our team partner is going to commit to is that they’re not scared of themself. And again, as silly as that sounds, if they don’t like how they look on camera, they’re almost not gonna like how they look and sound when they’re in front of a stranger who is literally judging them in less than four seconds.

Okay. Well, if you don’t like how you look, change it. Your mindset. Change the way you eat, change the way you sleep, change the way that you even see yourself sometimes. Four years ago, I went on a journey of losing weight. I have been able to keep off almost 70 pounds in the last four years, all because of the discipline of saying, I didn’t like how I felt, I didn’t like how I looked, but guess what? What I did like was my confidence. It didn’t matter how I looked. I was confident in myself. But now, I’m just now really more accepting of who I am and the efforts I put into it. So, that goes in hand in hand with the sense of content is confidence. It’s actually not what you’re really saying, it’s confident that you believe what you’re saying.

Lisa: Congratulations to you. I’m gonna have to get the details on that. Wow. Over 70 pounds. That is fantastic.

Zandra: Lisa, at the end of the day, a huge part of the execution is the approach and content specialty, really knowing exactly how you’re going to go into your execution, your non-negotiables, and really just having that mindset and skillset to get it done.

Lisa: So, we talked about calendaring. What about budgeting? 2022 was much slower for a lot of people. Now we’ve got a new budget for 2023. You know, what do you put into your budget for 2023? How do you execute that?

Zandra: So, just so you know, when we do our business plan and we do our quarterly meetings for the team, budgeting is super important. It goes hand in hand with calendaring, to be very honest with you. I do what’s called a 33 by 33 by 33 plan. And what that really is, is breaking down the 100% that you actually take, right, the growth that you take. Thirty-three percent of it should go back to your lifestyle. These are your normal bills. And some people say, “There’s no way that 33% of my income can pay for my everyday bills.” Well, then you gotta get to work a little bit more so then you can increase that 33% that’s coming in. The other 33% goes to your taxes. Whether or not you actually owe all of that, you wanna just make sure that it’s padded, it’s paid for. The last thing that you wanna do as an entrepreneur is worry about the IRS coming after you, and not knowing what your success for the next year is going to be, and you’re already behind. Don’t do it.

And then the other 33% would be to your business. You have to spend money to make money, and you have to be intentional with what you’re doing. And you have to commit to tell yourself, okay, if I put, or when I put money into my business, I’m not gonna just try it for a month or two. You have to commit for at least 12 months. And you have to tell yourself, okay, if I sent out money and I spent money on a flyer, what did I do with that money? Did I just put money towards it, or did I also put time to it? The flyer went out. Did I door knock? Did I make my phone calls? Did I do an open house around that property that I flyered? It’s more than just doing that one element of reach. You have to have a plan of execution that, okay, with the money that I’m spending, I’m also gonna 100% commit to my follow-up and the efforts behind that.

And now you have 1%. You wanna know what that measly 1% is? Your savings to actually go and enjoy the life that you’re working so hard for. So, someone says, “Z, okay, if I make $200,000 a year, you’re telling me 1% of that is $2,000. That’s not enough for me to go on a seven-day trip.” Well then, you gotta go work harder. Plain and simple. Or, you have to work that much harder for that money you’re putting into your 33% of your business. If you’re reaping 1000% back after the 33% you went in, then you have gained more money to spend. But you have to at least start with the plan of action of budgeting, executing, but follow through. If you’re not tracking what you’re doing on a monthly basis, again, it’s that whole saying, “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.” Budgeting is as important as calendaring your time and your effort. It goes hand in hand at the end of the day.

Lisa: And how are you tracking? Are you using any particular types of financial tools, QuickBooks? What are you using?

Zandra: Yeah. So, I actually do have an operation manager on my team. She does all my bookkeeping. She handles my payroll. And for those who are not on that level just yet, I would say, you know, look into the use of QuickBooks, but you wanna also make sure that you do have…that you’re incorporated. At least pay yourself back for the points you’re using for the everyday stuff that you need to even run your business. So, QuickBooks. We use Gusto for payroll. And we do have other monitoring systems that allow me to stay in the know. We even use the system called Trello, so we know what’s been paid, where I’m at with a task. And profit and loss is so important. You should know your profit and loss every single month. Every month.

Lisa: You know, I assume that it took you a while to develop this execution strategy. Is there ever a time that you feel like you need to adjust it?

Zandra: Oh, every day. Every week, we have executive meetings. We are projecting constantly. We keep an update on inventory. And again, for those of you who don’t have a team, you need to look at your inventory. Who is on your board that you can move from a “maybe” to a “yes,” or a “no” to a “maybe,” and a “no” to a straight “no?” You constantly have to know where is your opportunity, but if you’re looking at each individual as money, you’re already losing.

You have to look at as an opportunity for a relationship. I would rather have 10 financial planners refer me business all day long than have to sit behind a desk, make four hours of phone calls to try to find that one “yes.” But out of every 100 phone calls, you should plan about a 1%, you know, opportunity for it to turn into an opportunity. That’s a lot of phone calls. So, I would rather be face-to-face, have conversation with people, and get in the right rooms with people that are like me, and like-minded, that I have commonality with, that would want to help me succeed and I would want to help them succeed.

Lisa: You mentioned solo agents, and we have a lot of listeners who are solo agents. So, for those agents that just can’t afford to upgrade for 2023, because they didn’t do well, you know, they can’t afford a new coach. You know, everybody’s talking about that’s what you should be doing right now. You need to better yourself. What would you suggest? They don’t have it in their budget.

Zandra: Start in your community. Look, if you don’t have the funds, go at least buy some good shoes. Go meet new people, go knock on doors, go have conversations, go have more elevator pitch conversations, which means that figure out what is your… Who are you? What’s your pitch in 30 seconds or less? How do you tell someone who you are, what you do, and why they should have a conversation with you? If you are struggling, just understand I remember floating checks. I remember having to go thrifting, buying things and reselling them on eBay. Like, I did whatever I needed to do to find the next opportunity to make the money to spend money. So, I would say start with your comfort level, because you’re probably already feeling like, man, I’m discouraged, I’m going to the new year and the market’s not in my favor. I have to talk to 10 more people.

Well, guess what? You gotta talk to 10 more people. Either you’re gonna talk to 10 more people that are going to know, love, and trust you to build that relationship, or you’re gonna talk to 100 more people that have nothing to do with you because you went back to a nine to five. I’m sorry to say that. It comes down to that you make a decision to control what time you start your day and end your day, or you control the conversations that you’re going to eventually be able to have financial freedom. So, start with having more conversations. Put on a good pair of shoes, go talk, and leverage the listings around you. You don’t have to say that it’s yours. Just say, “Did you know?” Come from a place of a, in being informative, and a resource. You know, did you know that this property sold for $10,000 over asking in less than seven days? The likeliness of an owner saying, “Well, did you sell it? Tell me what your plan was?”

No. Go in with a confidence, saying that you can do that too, and that you’re such a hard worker that you’re even showing up to their doorstep to have a conversation. Some people will tell me all day long, Z, “I am not knocking on doors.” No problem. Well, where else are you gonna have the conversation? You’re gonna go to the next networking group to have one or two drinks that you won’t even have a meaningful conversation in the first place with a colleague that’s doing the same exact thing as you? Fine if you find your accountability partner that way, but you need to be in network groups that don’t cost too much money, that it’s not costing too much time either, where you have to spend money to look really good.

You don’t have to be your best and look your best at all times. You just have to be willing to give your best. And your best has to be good enough for you to keep going. So, get involved in meetups, go to community events, start talking to business owners, and come from a place, help me, help you, help us, help each other. You’re not the only one struggling in the industry that you’re in. Everyone is struggling in the economy that we are all currently living in.

Lisa: As a team leader, and with so many team partners, how are you dealing with the state of the market, and, you know, having, I guess, the responsibility on your shoulders? Is it a lot for you?

Zandra: It’s very heavy. Like I said, I mean, I’m aligned with people who are just really good people. Yes, I teach them how to do real estate, but I align with people that I don’t have to teach to be good people. So, of course, we want everyone to win, but it’s heavy. It’s really heavy. And when we have the open conversations of how you’re doing, I tell people sometimes, “I’m broken.” I feel that I keep showing up and I really don’t see movement, but I’m hoping for the best. And that’s all that matters, is that they know that there’s days that I don’t wanna show up, but I still show up.

So it encourages them to show up even more. So, we’re making strides together, and we are learning lessons together, we’re crying together, we’re laughing together. We’re just experiencing life. So, I would tell everybody just continue to surround yourself by people who are real. Right? Just be real, be real, and just be unapologetic. So, it’s working for us, and, you know, we’ve already sold over, well, you know, obviously almost 2000 homes in two years. So, I’m really expecting for the best in 2023. We’ve tripled down on everything we’re doing. Even if it doesn’t make sense, I’m just going, I’m doing it. You’re gonna know my name no matter what.


Lisa: That was Zandra Ulloa. Man, I just love her transparency. Well, if you’d like to connect with Zandra, definitely go follow her on social media. I’ll be sure to leave links to that in the show notes. Oh, and here’s something pretty cool. Coincidentally, Zandra got to do a commercial for HomeLight. I’ll leave a link to that if you’re interested in checking it out as well in the show notes.

Now it’s time for our takeaways segment. Here’s what stood out to me from episode 109, “Your Plan of Execution is Your Superpower.”

Takeaway number one: Start planning your day by working backwards. Start with how you’d like to end your day. You wanna begin with your non-negotiables or your must-dos, and be as specific as possible, and even include your drive time and what you’ll do during your in-between times, which Zandra says is the most valuable time. Those will be things like, are you collaborating with your teammates? Are you trying to learn from others in order to grow?

Takeaway number two: While planning your day is important, Zandra says that even more important is planning for your career. Figure out what is challenging you, that you’re saying “no” to, and what are you doing that is challenging, that you’re at least trying? And if you keep seeing the things that you tell yourself you don’t want to do, but you know you should be doing, well, that’s probably limiting your level of success, and you’re not planning for your career, by not doing those things. She said, “It’s not the will. It’s will you do it?”

Takeaway number three: Constantly check your mindset. Are you settling or are you capable of more? Evaluate your goals and achievements versus your true potential by asking yourself if you need to push harder, and whether you’ve really given it your best or if you’re just settling? And she does this weekly with her team.

Takeaway number four: As a leader, you have to have the mentality that there’s always room for improvement. And if you don’t, that’s when you stop growing, and you’ll remain stagnant. She says someone will always outgrow you if you don’t check that ego.

Takeaway number five: The vision doesn’t change, but your mission should be changing on a constant basis. In other words, if you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and your mission or your “why” is not changing on a constant basis, then you’re settling. So, your vision could be to build a large team, or sell X amount of real estate, but your mission should be focused on your “why,” and what you need to do on a daily basis to get there.

Takeaway number six: Zandra uses a red, yellow, green system on her team, and says this hyper-fasts their success. So, red means only you can do it. These are tasks that can’t be delegated because it requires you physically. Yellow, these are things that you can teach someone else to do, and it may not be perfect, but it’s getting done. And green, this is when you teach them. It’s getting done. It’s things like your flyers or client updates, gift buying, and even event planning. These are things that others will step outside of their comfort zone to do, but they will grow from learning them. And those are your takeaways for this week.

Well, that about does it. If you have any questions or feedback, please send an email to walkthrough[at] You can also find me in our Facebook Mastermind Group. Just search “HomeLight Walkthrough™.” Oh, and one last thing. Please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen, and hit that follow button so you’ll get all of our future shows automatically.

Well, that’s all for this week. Thanks to Zandra Ulloa for joining me, and thank you for listening. My name’s Lisa Johnson Smith, and you’ve been listening to The Walkthrough™. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re here to explore how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable. Now, go out there and make some moves. I’ll talk to you again next week.

Header Image Source: (Nastuh Abootalebi / Unsplash)

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