As a real estate business owner and real estate trainer I am often asked about the key to running a successful agency. I wish it was as simple as that. One piece of worldly advice that would fix all business owners problems and make their office successful overnight…. But it’s just not that easy.
Owning and operating a real estate business is like having a baby that grows into a toddler , then a young child, teenager and finally adulthood… You are in it for the long hall if your really want to build a successful business and a long term career. So you can’t look at it as a short term exercise where a quick fix will see you instantly successful…. To build the right business that is recession proof is going to take some time but thankfully I can identify six key areas that MUST be attended too.
How does your business rate.?
- The ability to find sellers.
If there were a Holy Grail in real estate this would be it. Even a poorly run, poorly staffed and unmotivated team of agents could still be successful if they had all the houses in the area to sell. Think about it…. If you walked into a supermarket and there was no food on the shelf… What would you do? Find another supermarket. It’s the same with real estate. It is a war for saleable properties. The agency that wins that war wins the area and of course… All the commission.
So, it goes without saying that the focus of any real estate agency should be to find and convince sellers to list there property with your agency. This is going to be a team effort with both the agency and the employees formulating permanent strategies to flush out and list all the sellers in your area. What do you and your office do to make this a reality?. What systems and procedures are used , what resources are available, who is responsible for monitoring the implementation and who is accountable for the results. Remember, this is the main focus of the business. If the business does not have a plan to win all the sellers then there wont be a lot of business taking place.
- The ability to sign Saleable Exclusive listings.
Now we have found a seller, what will we do to convince them to list with our agency? Why should they choose you to represent them. ? What sets you and your real estate office apart from the other choices available in the area? If you cant pull a few points out of the air immediately you are in trouble. In fact the business owner is in big trouble. What was the point in expending resources in finding those sellers only to falter at this important point!. It would be business suicide to not have trained professional agents to then convince those sellers to list the property with your agency. Listing a property should be a process where your sellers see you as the stand out choice for both service and results. Have you got a perfect listing presentation ready to show your prospective sellers? Is your presentation an easy choice for a home seller, easy to understand, easy to implement and gives the seller complete confidence in you and your agency? Without this weaponry in your arsenal you will be beaten to the business and left to drive past your competitors signs of success.
- The ability to work with buyers and build long term customers.
Most agents don’t understand that the seller pays them with the money that they obtain from the buyer. SO a good commission is won ( or lost ) at the point you present a sale price to a home owner. Your the agent, you control the negotiation so in effect you control your own commission depending upon what you can convince the buyer to pay for the property. It’s all in how you control and present the negotiation. So, working with buyers means controlling the negotiations. Agents need to study and train on listing and sales negotiations. When was the last time you attended a negotiation skills class? When was the last time you read a book on real estate negotiation.? Does your office equip sales agents with good negotiating tools and resources?
Working with buyers should not be a once only event….. Buyers today are tomorrows future sellers. Buyers also know other buyers ( and sellers) within your service. Treat them poorly and you will pay for this oversight down the track. A buyer who has been made pay a high price for a property will always come back and sell through your agency. Can you figure out why?
- The ability to attract the right employees.
If ever there is a complaint from business owners about the real estate industry… This would be it. We just can’t find people who are suited to the industry. Most offices take a hit and miss affair to hiring the right people. Throw an add on the websites, talk to a few friends who might know someone looking for a job and surely a good prospect might show up. Business owners become complacent with the staff they have and when someone announces that they are moving on it becomes a chore to commence looking for more staff to replace the ones that have just left. Your real estate office should always be open for hiring. I have never met a business owner yet who wouldn’t make room for a superstar. Why is your agency more attractive to new recruits.? What can you offer that other offices don’t? What recruitment activities do you currently undertake.? Are you open for hiring? Are you settling for mediocrity? Change your outlook on recruitment and change your real estate life.
- The ability to lead people.
If ever there is a complaint from staff about business owners this would be it. I don’t feel I am learning anything here any more. I call it the ” Law of the lid”. Once you have taught somebody the maximum you know, your no longer needed and the relationship will end. Is this you.? . Are you the mentor in the business? Do the staff look up to you for guidance and support, not just in business but in all aspects of their lives. Growing a real estate business is about growing people. That’s why they came too you in the first place… To learn and grow. I maintain that you can’t get rich working for a poor boss. Are you a healthy , wealthy and wise leader? Can you lead them through the real estate jungle, show them how to make money, invest wisely and use real estate as their tool to a great life? Take their hand and show them, lead them and win them for life.
- The ability to manage your money.
Managing your money is more than just being able to pay the office expenses. You need to be able to demonstrate to your staff that your office is a secure financial environment in which they can work. Most of your employees need financial guidance and sadly, I meet many business owners who also need skills in money management. Don’t be like one employer who flaunts their wealth with new cars and flashy suits yet cant pay the wages and commissions on time. Does your office live commission cheque to commission cheque.? Are you constantly lying awake at night worried about where the cash will come from to pay the rent and wages.? Every office needs a sound set of financial rules regarding Tax obligations, Superannuation and cash reserves to grow the business. Recession proof your business by applying sound economic principals.
So, how did you rate.? Something to think about.? There’s no time to waste.