Crushing Your Life and Business Goals From Anywhere

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All of us hope to live a life we’ve designed to suit our personal and professional needs and wants. But what does that actually entail? For agents Knelly Dettinger and Erica West, this looks a little different from what you may expect. Both agents run high performing businesses – from afar. While they’re at different stages professionally in building their businesses, both contribute highly important perspectives to show us that any of us are capable of achieving the dreams we aspire to achieve.

Although she’s been in the real estate business since 2016, Knelly has been a remote leader since 2021. Out of her business hub in Western Wisconsin, Knelly’s team has helped over 150 families in the past year. All while she’s run the business from her home in North San Diego.

Erica’s personal and professional aspirations have also taken her to San Diego, although her journey has been different. She started in the business in March 2020 and right out of the gate, found success in Detroit, Michigan. So, when she relocated to be near the coast in San Diego, she expected she could build her business from scratch in a new location with the same ease she had the first time around. And while it didn’t quite happen the way she expected it to, Erica, like Knelly, has learned some really valuable lessons that everyone can benefit from when it comes to designing a life and business worth living!

Lesson 1: Have the right people in place

When you have the right people around you and explain how they are involved in the transaction from the get-go, your clients feel well taken care of, regardless of where you run your business from. Whether you’re like Erica and reverse engineer a small team of people to suit your needs or like Knelly and had an established team in place before you relocated, being a remote leader is possible at any stage of the game.

Lesson 2: Have the right systems in place (and recognize these can change)

When it comes down to any business, people aren’t hiring the individual, they are hiring the person’s systems, processes, culture, and way of getting things done. This is no different for a team with a leader who is in the same zip code or one who lives across the country. Both Knelly and Erica find that it’s key to have good systems in place for team communications. For instance, Knelly and her team have two set Zoom calls every week to help them stay on the same page and launch the team successfully into working with their clients in the week ahead. Erica and her showing agent have a system of taking every buyer consultation on Zoom together to show potential clients how they work in tandem to meet all of their clients’ needs.

Lesson 3: Be engaged in filling your pipeline

The backbone of every real estate business is listings. No matter if you are generating leads from afar or in your backyard, it’s important to fill your pipeline. Both Knelly and Erica lead generate – though in different ways – in the two markets they have a presence in. For Knelly, she considers lead generation as a huge part of her job description for her Wisconsin hub, in spite of the fact that she’s located in California. Her team in Wisconsin also hosts open houses and calls their sphere of influence (SOI) and she works to build her database organically in San Diego. For Erica, open houses and FSBOs were once a

large part of her business in Michigan. Since she can no longer focus on these levers in the same way as she could when she was local to Detroit, she now focuses intently on other sources, such as reaching out to her database via the DTD2 and agent-to-agent referrals. And because she hasn’t taken her foot off the pedal and uses a minimum of a two-hour time block to lead generate daily, she’s found that the number of transactions she’s closed in Michigan hasn’t decreased despite the change to her primary lead sources and where she lives. And when it comes to building her business in San Diego, Erica too, is looking to grow organically. She’s a member of a variety of groups and meetups where she can meet people and they can get to know, like, and trust her.

Lesson 4: Be engaged with what’s happening in your business

Whether or not you live across the country from your main sources of business, it’s important to take an active role. Relationships with your team are important to emphasize and invest in. Other relationships, such as vendor and client relationships are also incredibly important. Both Knelly and Erica have found that they return to the location of their original business at standard intervals to meet up with teammates, attend appointments and closings, and shoot content. These in-person follow-ups help them to feel like they aren’t skipping a beat in their business.

Lesson 5: It’s okay if someone doesn’t want to work with you

There will be people who respect you for running your business and your life the way you want to. And there will be people who don’t understand how you can run your business remotely. Don’t worry. If someone is worried about how you – versus your systems – can handle their transaction, they aren’t the right fit for you.


Knelly and Erica both prove that you can both live the life you want and run a stable business. It may not look like you initially expected it to, but a highly successful business is achievable. don’t listen to the background noise telling you it can’t be done. How will you choose to design your life and business?

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