Failing Fast: Austin Benton and Leadspring ISA’s Ingredient for Success

When it comes to the business of real estate and lead conversion in the United States, Leadspring ISA has become a growing household – no pun intended – name. Its current success can be attributed to the agency’s highly client-based approach.

“We focus on relationships to build our company. Not contracts” is one of the precepts of both Leadspring ISA and its head, Austin Benton.

Benton’s love for real estate stemmed from a single dream: he wanted to help people. He recognized that home purchases are some of the single biggest purchases which people make. Many people aren’t informed enough to know where to get started; this is particularly so for first-time home buyers.

The process of it all may also come across as particularly daunting when the emotional aspect of purchasing a home in which one will build their life is taken into account. Benton has found his calling there. With the help of his team in Leadspring ISA, he plans on providing the assistance of a U.S.A.-based, college-educated, and well-informed team to help a home-buyer through this huge step forward in their life.

Simple Beginnings, Small Habits

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Benton had always known that hard work bears fruit. His environment growing up has instilled in him a life-long work ethic. Now, each morning, he wakes up with the sole goal of getting as much work done as possible before the sun breaks past the horizon.

To some, this might seem like one of those redundant habits a person arbitrarily picks up. But Austin’s life has always required this level of persistence from him. And, suffice to say, he hasn’t quite yet failed to deliver.

The Critical Era Before the Pursuit of One’s Dreams

Austin grew up the way every other child his age did. He had likes and interests – in particular, he loved basketball. He loved the sense of competition the game brought. He followed his interests, right up to the point he tore his ACL.

One of Austin’s popular mantras is: “Fail fast!”

Indeed, he failed rather quickly. But more importantly, he got back on his feet quickly, too.

Benton then went on to obtain for himself an MBA from Lancaster University. Subsequently, he obtained a B.A. in Finance from Lehigh University as well. The marketing and financial knowledge he got from his college education gave him an edge that would later prove invaluable in his future career.

However, it wasn’t always so smooth-sailing for Benton. Every entrepreneur faces their fair share of struggles. Austin Benton was no exception.

Before his blooming success with Leadspring ISA, Benton hadn’t always dipped his feet in the waters of real estate and mortgaging. He was once a finance director for a large asset management company and had previously held various positions in the finance departments of several companies. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; he was, after all, an MBA and finance graduate.

But despite having a full-time job, Benton knew, deep down, that this wasn’t where he was meant to be. He started to moonlight on the internet – he built his real estate agency whenever he could. And he did so while balancing the weight of a full-time job and his responsibilities as a father with two young children. His weekends were frequently taken up in pursuit of his dreams.

 Benton’s Full-Time Real Estate Endeavor

Slowly but steadily, he built his agency to the point of reaching a critical mass of clients. He decided to abandon his full-time job. Finally, he was free to focus on his agency full-time.

It wasn’t happily-ever-after past that milestone, though. Austin found himself dealing with a new predicament: he struggled with staffing.

“It’s very important, especially in a call center, to have the right number of staff. Because where hundreds and hundreds of leads come in every day, you can’t be understaffed,” Austin emphasizes. “If you are, there will be a massive number of uncalled leads – and it could really snow you under.”

Such is a steady example of where Austin’s priorities lay in the real estate and mortgaging business. He further pressed on the fact that overstaffing can become a problem for a business’ margins as well. In essence, understanding the numbers, staffing concepts, and people costs when it comes to a business is something Austin had learned from his education. And it’s something he never unlearned, too. He took all those key nuggets of wisdom from his MBA and finance degree, and married them to his core, people-centric business principles.

With the growing number of customers – up to over two hundred clients – Austin faced the tremendous challenge of making sure the company had the right number of staff in each separate department. Whether it was the HR, finance, marketing, or sales department, the company’s main priority was to have adequate manpower to cater to their clients. This was especially important in light of the fact that their priority lay in a people-based approach when dealing with their customers.

“All those different pieces come together as the business grows. And it has been really rewarding, but also very challenging to manage as you go through the large growth that we have.”

 Leadspring ISA’s Progress in Unprecedented Times

To date, Leadspring ISA has progressed with surprising significance despite the fact that the pandemic severely impacted the global economy in 2020.

“We’ve had a growth on revenue and our profit margin every month in 2020,” Austin reports when asked about Leadspring’s struggles throughout the pandemic. “And so, although it’s been a challenge, people have still been purchasing homes and pursuing their home-buying dreams. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to help them in the process notwithstanding the pandemic.”

Perhaps this stands as a testament to the fact that the real estate and mortgage market hasn’t dwindled even despite various safety and economical concerns. Home-buying dreams aren’t dead yet – and Leadspring ISA recognizes this.

And yet, their progress doesn’t end here. Benton and his team have already mapped out a five-year plan: their goal is to attract over five thousand customers in five years.

 “Since we were able to grow so rapidly [over the past year], I think that 1,000 customer mark over a 5-year period can be achievable,” Austin says optimistically:

Every entrepreneur at any stage might recognize themselves in any of these stages Benton himself had to go through: perhaps they’re just starting out. Maybe they’re still maneuvering the tricky phases of building their businesses. Or, maybe, they’re standing past the point of achieving many important milestones.

Whichever stage an entrepreneur finds themselves in, one thing is clear: the end is nowhere in sight. Austin’s story is a testament to the fact that failure is inevitable. But if there should be one conclusion taken from his journey, it should be this: it’s what happens after failing which counts.

Echoing Austin’s mantra: “Fail fast.”

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