Independent Brokers have generally learned things the hard way: through trial and error and experience and there are a lot of land mines out there. You may have loved the idea of being a broker and have achieved certain milestones, but the road to success can often seem like a never ending trek uphill. Is this the right direction? Am I choosing the right tools and software? Is my marketing message right? Is there more I should be doing? The challenges of lead generation, recruiting, and brand perceptions are significant and always there, especially in tight markets.
It turns out that you are not alone. At Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. we talk to independent brokers across the country every day. They are universally a motivated and experienced bunch and have a great deal of local market knowledge. These brokers often wonder what it is that they have left to learn from a national franchise brand like Weichert that they haven’t already learned at the school of hard knocks. Often you don’t know what you don’t know.
While every broker is unique and has unique challenges, there are a number of common problems that create hurdles to growth in brokerages. Has your own business or business practices been “stuck” on any of these areas?
No System for Recruiting and Retention
Recruiting and retaining agent talent is really the foundation of a successful brokerage. Independents face multiple challenges here, often because agents have similar perceptions to home buyers. They are often attracted to well-known brands due to their lead generation potential and resources. As if this perception wasn’t tough enough, many brokers don’t have a structured recruiting system and portfolio of materials to attract and create a pipeline of new agents to draw from. Then once you recruit them, you need a way to get them up to speed – fast – so they can start contributing to your brokerage production and earn an income.
There is no single magic bullet to solving the recruiting problem, but a proven process that incorporates multiple things is required. Do you have a business plan with growth goals? Have you translated those goals to specific business and recruiting activities you must engage in to be successful? Do you as a broker “know your numbers”?
At Weichert, part of our job in coaching new affiliates is to teach them a system. Our system is comprehensive and includes marketing materials and training to attract and get new agents up and running once you get them. Once you have them, it’s incredibly important to provide value to keep them from walking next door. Creating a supportive culture, offering them an expansive suite of tools and marketing materials to help them market themselves and their business and providing opportunities to constantly learn and improve their skills are all ways to do this.
Owner/Broker That Are Still Listing and Selling Houses
Chances are if you’ve become a broker, you are highly experienced in real estate and were a darn good sales associate. It can be hard to stop doing that, even though it is actually a distraction that takes you away from the other activities you need to focus on to build and manage your business. The idea of “letting go of the bench” is a concept every broker struggles with at some point in their career.
Are you that broker who feels like he needs that extra income that comes from listing and selling his own properties? Weichert business coaches will tell you quite simply, that it’s time to stop. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it has to happen in order for you to focus your attention on business-building, rather than selling. Once that happens, you’ll start to see your business grow, rather than continuing to run in place. Figuring all that out yourself is hard, which is why partners like Weichert exist to bring you proven systems that take the guesswork out of managing your brokerage.
Difficulty Competing Against Recognized Brands
A recognized brand can be a powerful magnet for drawing buyers and sellers into your agency, as well as recruits. If you are an independent broker, you understand this having spent years building a local reputation to compete with more recognizable brands in your local market.
But for sellers who don’t know you or don’t get explicitly referred to you, not having the backing of a national brand can make you work harder for listings and recruits. We hear it all the time, a variation of “…my recruiting problems basically ended the day I put the Weichert Sign on the building…”
Consider Whether A Partner Is Right For You.
While independent brokers may face stiff challenges, they are not insurmountable. Sometimes a leg up from the right partner can be just what you need to get over the top of that seemingly endless hill. A recognized brand can help you stand out for sure, but the real power of plugging into a known brand are the assets, marketing and support and proven systems they bring to you in your local market. Couple that with other benefits such as investments in lead generation and technology, investments that few independent brokerages could develop or sustain on their own, you have a powerful formula for success. Your identity doesn’t go away, it gets amplified ten-fold. That’s why the Weichert system is so much more powerful than just our name and could be the right partner for you.
Please consider contacting the team at Weichert to discuss your unique situation, we can help: 877-746-2067 or weichertfranchise.com