You were probably a top agent for years before you opened your own brokerage. You had a gift for understanding and relating to people and you’ve got real estate sales down to a science. You’ve mentored new agents and worked on solutions to close complicated transactions with other seasoned agents. You understand how a brokerage works and the daily ins-and outs of business management. Despite this, you may be frustrated with the rate of your growth, and the seemingly endless effort required to achieve it.
A key part of a successful brokerage is having the right infrastructure in place. It’s a challenge to build without a good foundation. While some of these may sound familiar, it never hurts to assess where you have solid resources and what areas you still need to strengthen.
Let Your Agents Sell
Perhaps the most difficult transition for new brokers is the move from awesome salesperson to business and people manager. The urge to continue in your most familiar role is both strong and sometimes seems financially necessary.
If you are really going to be successful however, you have to fully embrace the additional and different responsibilities that come with being an established broker. This involves business management operations and strategies that have nothing to do with selling, such as building and utility management, employment laws and legal issues, technology usage, agent and office management, contract negotiations and of course, recruiting. The message here is simple but bears repeating: while you can train and coach your team for higher productivity, leave the day to day selling to your agents.
Hire Support Staff and Contractors
It’s hard to do everything well. And you probably can’t afford to put an employee on the payroll for every specialty need you have, at least initially. Instead, hire specialized support staff to set up and handle business systems you are less familiar with or need assistance with occasionally. For instance, initially bring on a part-time bookkeeper and office manager who can help with daily administrative and business tasks. A marketing specialist or consultant can provide brand expertise, manage social media content, keep your website fresh and promote your business. Develop good relationships with outside contractors for other work that you may not want to bring in-house. Regular meetings with a trusted accountant sets up correct financial systems your bookkeeper uses and advises you of tax and employment issues. Your computers, network, data security and marketing technology, should be in the hands of a trusted IT company who is responsive to your needs.
Develop Operational Policies and Procedures
Often brokers do not take the time to formally write out their processes and procedures. This document avoids confusion and misunderstanding with your agents and support staff. Detailed topics should include employment contracts, general office policies, records management, trust accounts, broker relationships with consumer (agency, facilitator, etc.), as well as ethical policies, grounds for termination, safety and crisis information. You’ll also want procedures related to marketing and promotion to ensure your brokerage is represented consistently in the market and in compliance.
Get Cutting-Edge Technology
The right equipment and software takes time to research and test, but is so crucial to the success of your agents and brokerage that a regular review of these systems is critical for brokerage management. Technology is at the core of your ability to get and manage leads, track transactions and schedule appointments. Sometimes having a trusted partner for technology selection and training can be a huge relief for the busy brokerage.
Brokers must keep up-to-date with local, regional, state and federal real estate laws, but also understand employment laws and follow legal hiring practices to stay in compliance and avoid liability issues. While the local MLS will provide many standard sales forms to help you stay in legal compliance, other forms may be needed for special situations. That’s where a real estate attorney who is a trusted partner in your brokerage business operations comes in handy to provide non-transaction related legal assistance and advice.
Practice Good Business Management
Having a business plan is essential to any successful brokerage. Make sure you write one every year, which includes your sales goals and budget plan. Consult it frequently throughout the year and make adjustments to your activities accordingly.
There’s a lot involved in running a successful brokerage. While many choose to go it alone, affiliating your brokerage with a system that’s already built and proven can take a lot of the guesswork out and give you a strong line of support when you need it. Plus, it frees up your time to attend to many of the areas noted above. Weichert is the perfect example of this. Our service teams have worked with hundreds of independent brokerages to help them to work more efficiently and grow their businesses. From writing a business plan to recruiting strategies, Weichert provides business solutions that are proven and are designed to promote brokerage growth. Plus, they provide the technology resources you need to compete, including a world class CRM system, sophisticated lead generation system, online market continual online and live training opportunities, paperless transaction management, an online marketing design center and more. There’s no part of your real estate business that we can’t help you with.
If you think you could use a partner on your road to success, consider the team and the brand at Weichert. You can call us directly at 877-746-2067 or go to www.weichertfranchise.com.