Is your brokerage success sustainable?
By Maggie Hall, Communications Manager at Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies
When you started your business, you likely had a business plan, a vision for growth, a goal you would work to achieve through the success of your real estate brokerage. As the years have gone by, your business plan has been your guideline. You may not keep it on your desk for daily, weekly, or even monthly review, but your business plan is a living, evolving document that needs your attention – reviewed, evaluated and tweaked as you grow.
Evaluating the core components of your business will provide insight into how your business is performing and how you can modify your plan to stay on track and continue your success. Consider how your brokerage performed last year. Was it a record year with your brokerage’s highest sales volume to date? Did your agents surpass their goals for units sold? Were you able to recruit those agents you’ve been eyeing? Maybe this past year was not as successful as you had planned. Regardless of how your business performed last year, you need to consider if your business plan is still sustainable. Evaluating your business’s success will provide insight into how you can tweak your business for future sustainability.
Here’s a look at some key areas of your business that you can review, evaluate and tweak to help you stay on track for success and sustainability.
Brokerage Technology – The Backbone of Your Operations
The technology you use in your office determines how your brokerage operates, which greatly influences the sustainability of your business. Your brokerage technology likely consists of accounting, communication, document management and website solutions, among others. Each of these technologies needs to demonstrate its value to your business through the ability to streamline processes and improve operational efficiency.
If you don’t have visibility into the effectiveness of your brokerage technology through reports, quantitative and qualitative data, how do you know if it works for your business’s needs? If your agents are more productive since the implementation of a document management platform, if your office staff are more effectively communicating with your agents through your front office platform, if your agents are getting more leads since you purchased your new website, chances are your technology is doing exactly what it should be doing – working for your business!
AGENT RESOURCES – TOOLS TO DO THEIR JOB BETTER
The success of your agents plays a huge role in the success of your brokerage. This means that you need to ensure your agents are happy and motivated to work for you. After all, your agents chose to work for your brokerage above your competition. Maybe they trust your brand; they like you as a leader, or they like the commission split you have in place. You need to support your agents’ business just as much as you support your own.
What else can you do to keep your agents working hard for your business? Give them access to the tools they need most when they’re not in the office. The majority of your agents are working from a home office or in the car between showings. If you work hard for your agents by giving them access to all the resources they need to close a deal, they’ll be more likely to work hard for you.
PARTNERSHIPS – SUPPORTING OTHER BUSINESSES TO GROW YOUR OWN
The real estate industry doesn’t offer the same type of repeat customers on which other industries thrive. The sales cycle is simply too long when it comes to how often consumers buy and sell their homes. This means that to remain sustainable, you need to maintain relevance.
Industry partnerships are a great way to maintain relevance in your community and the industry. Many of your agents would refer a home inspector or mortgage broker; why not feature those companies on your website? Not only are you making it easy for your agents to refer their clients to helpful resources, but you’ll increase your brand presence in the community and build relationships that can lead to more referral business.
DECISION-MAKING – PROACTIVE VS. REACTIVE
Often decision-making is done re-actively, the situation has already presented itself and now requires a decision for the next step. As a proactive decision-maker, you can foresee the situation that will arise through your planning and make decisions based on the information you have. When the situation arises, you’ve already made the decision and can tweak it as needed to fit the exact scenario.
Decision-making is vital to the sustainability of your business. Proactive decision-making is even more crucial. Planning ahead, foreseeing your projected growth and working to achieve your business plan will help you build a sustainable business.
These are just a few key factors that contribute to the success of your business. Keep each of these in mind as you evaluate and tweak your business plan. And remember, Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.” If what you’re doing in your business is working, then, great, keep the momentum going! But if you’re using resources that aren’t working for your business, if your agents aren’t as productive as you know they can be, if you do not see a return on your investments in technology, maybe it’s time to reconsider your business resources and your sustainability plan. ^
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter and is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyright 2016.
The Minnesota REALTORS® is the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 17,000 members who are active in all aspects of the real estate industry.