Brokers are driven. Of the fastest-growing real estate firms, 82 percent have a clear and focused vision for the company. Like any business in the real estate industry, brokerages must grow ahead of the communities they serve in order to flourish and profit. Growth is change and with change there is always risk. If you have your own brokerage, you’ve accepted the risk already. If risk makes you nervous, think about the larger risk of stagnation. There are plenty of business models out there so choosing one can be difficult. A good foundation for exponential growth in the real estate market is only a few steps away.
- Clients Come First: We need to behave like advisers, not salespeople. It’s our job to represent our clients, not coerce them into spending money. They’ve come to you because they’ve likely decided it’s time to make a move. Help them reach a decision. Of course, you should ask your clients lots of questions, but first try being quiet, listening and letting them talk about what they want and are willing to pay. Don’t rush them, but always call or email back quickly with useful information.
- Incentivize Your People and Delegate Responsibility: You and your fellow brokers are putting in long hours—52.7 hours per week on average, according to JP Morgan Chase Institute. One-third of your time is spent out of the office, meeting with clients, working from home, commuting, and traveling to other market areas. There is room to be more efficient. Leaders need lieutenants. If you grow, you’ll need someone to help you oversee your expanded business. Pick an agent in your office with the respect of his or her colleagues. Make them a senior associate, grant them responsibility and compensate them accordingly. A great incentive plan would be to hang a wall-sized map in your office. In blue, highlight municipalities where you commonly sell homes. In green, highlight where you want to expand. In red, circle neighborhoods where your agents rarely venture. If someone sold a house in a red zone, buy lunch for the office. Nothing fancy, but your agents will work hard to be the one everyone thanks for lunch.
- Research & Plan Your Marketing: Periodically analyze your brokerage’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Can you leverage your strengths to take advantage of opportunities? Are your weaknesses leaving you vulnerable to threats? Research and determine the most successful ways to improve sales and brand reputation. Measure against benchmarks when recruiting agents, spending on advertising, or testing new ad platforms, focusing on new geographic areas, investing in new technologies or other tactics. According to NAR’s 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 95 percent of all recent buyers used the internet at some point during the home search process. With this, you know your potential clients are looking at property online from their phones, so make sure your website meets those needs as you continue to grow your firm. Learn from your mistakes. If your marketing plan isn’t bearing fruit or your new ad campaign doesn’t improve your brand recognition, move on. Identify why it didn’t work and factor the answer into the next solution. Don’t be complacent. Be a problem solver, every day. Plan your day and work your plan.