To Succeed Follow these Ten Golden Rules
Whether you own a small real estate office or a franchise with multiple offices, real estate brokers have much in common with other small business owners during these difficult economic conditions.
This economy affects all businesses and it doesn’t really matter if you are the local hair salon or the major department store, current market conditions are tough.
For real estate brokers, owners and managers the focus revolves around how to recruit quality agents, how to retain quality and productive agents and how to increase overall profitability.
This is analogous to the farmer who must plant, fertilize and water before reaping – and the sayings goes, “You reap what you sow.” Sowing solid business principles is certainly a key part of reaping a profit.
Included in the Swanepoel TRENDS Report 2009 is a list of 10 suggested action steps for brokers to be successful during the down turn. Here is a synopsis:
1. Define Your Hiring Objectives
Brokers must know what they want in a new hire before they can communicate the need to the marketplace. It’s no longer a numbers game but a quality contest. Creating unnecessary turnover wastes too much time and is too expensive, let alone the disruptiveness that results from bringing a team member on board who’s not a good fit.
2. Benefits Has its Privileges
Announce your need to your local market and identify the top five reasons why an agent should join your company. Don’t get caught up in the compensation game as it isn’t and shouldn’t be the number one reason an agent joins your company. The focus needs to be on what your company will do to expand the agent’s career.
3. Being Creative
Brokers need to determine what group of agents they need to add to their team to achieve the desired results, be it Gen X or Gen Y, multilingual people, college graduates, etc. It will require the use of multiple marketing channels such as Craigslist, blogs, social networks, customer lists and other online services to expand your search – go where the agents are.
4. Quality Control
Test for a match before spending time with the potential recruit. Do the standard reference checks but more importantly check to make sure the new recruit is compatible with your company and your team. Many different tests like a DISC assessment, the Real Estate Simulator, etc. can help.
The number one reason agents often leave their company is a poor relationship or disagreement with management. And this almost always comes down to leadership and communication. The work environment is critical and experts are saying that people providing the service to the customers are #1.
6. In Good Hands
Most real estate agents are looking for guidance, mentoring and support to help them pilot their careers to success. Creating teams and mentors within your company helps everyone feel that they are part of something and that they belong – which creates an air of openness and sharing that will result in higher production.
7. Professional DevelopmentFailure of the majority of agents to improve their own knowledge and skills has placed an added responsibility on the shoulders of brokers. To ensure that your company succeeds, brokers must provide agents access to extensive professional development opportunities. A good way to go is a private labeled online university through RealtyU.
8. Business Plans
Study after study has shown that most businesses that fail did so because they did not have a comprehensive business plan for the company to follow. With an inexpensive real estate industry specific business plan for agents it is easy for brokers to ensure that their agents are equipped with the necessary tools to develop a realistic business plan and accountability system.
9. Expense Analysis
It’s amazing that during the peak real estate market many brokers didn’t control their expenses and failed to set aside a portion of their profits for the leaner years. Re-margining your business and bringing costs in line with income is foundational to the success of any business. But remember, it’s not a one time event. It has to be continuously monitored and managed.
One efficient strategy to do more with less is to streamline activities, automate repetition and put systems into place that can handle many non-income producing tasks. Technology for real estate companies has come a long way in helping to manage clients, agents, information and transactions and increase productivity.
Stefan Swanepoel is widely recognized as the leading visionary on business trends in the real estate industry. He has penned 15 books and reports including the annual Swanepoel TRENDS Report. His academic accomplishments include a bachelor’s in science and a master’s in business economics. In 2008 Stefan was recognized as “One of the Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders” by Inman News. For more information visit www.swanepoel.com