Tag Archives: Best Real Estate Coaching Programs

Is Your Business Plan In Place to Rock the New Year?

The right time to do a business plan for the year ahead is the October-November the year before. This way you are off to the races come January 1st. If you didn’t manage to get to this last year, you’ll want this to be your first priority in the new year.

For many brokers, writing a business plan can easily fall through the cracks while chasing leads, driving closings, recruiting agents, training staff, paying bills or any of the hundred other things that consume the day of a busy broker.  The problem is that without it, you meander without purpose and can easily waste a lot of time on the wrong things, instead of being driven by a focused, well thought out plan of attack designed to achieve specific results.

Key Parts of Your Real Estate Brokerage Business Plan

There are many templates and formats you can choose for a business plan. Weichert for instance, has guidelines to follow along with business coaches who help you and hold you accountable for completing it. At the end of the day though, the template you use is less important than the thought process that goes into it. Here are a few things you will want to cover in your business plan.

  1. Define Your Business – At the highest level, take some time to think about what kind of brokerage you have, and what kind you want in 1 to 5 years. Formally identify your products and services, the nature of your market, and how you will manage risks and challenges to your growth. It is a good place to define your company culture too; how you will go to market, how you will treat and value your employees, and your philosophy of customer service.
  2. Financial Goals – Having some realistic financial growth goals for the coming year and the years beyond is the single biggest decision from which many other parts of your business plan will be derived. Pick a growth number that is just a bit outside your comfort zone (stretch goal). Break down these financial goals into sales goals in each area of your brokerage that is appropriate like home sales, relocation sales, rentals, etc. Be as specific as you can.  Define the activities you need to complete in order to reach these goals (i.e. how many listings you need each month, how many agents you need to recruit).
  3. Marketing Plan – Key to your success will be the marketing tools and strategies you plan to use in the new year and establishing a budget for them. As a guideline, NAR recommends that brokers spend no more than 1/3 of their total expenses on marketing. This can be a difficult discipline to keep. An advantage of affiliation with a real estate franchise like Weichert is that you don’t have to spend time and money creating marketing tools or researching best-in-class tools, technology or sales strategies. Your franchisor invests in developing those tools and templates and has the ability to regularly refresh the materials available for your use, so you can spend your time and resources elsewhere. Weichert also defines the recipe of activity for success, which makes it easier for you to estimate the costs to execute. However you choose to proceed, a detailed marketing plan has to include the following:
    1. Who are your target customers?
    2. What marketing mix will you use to promote to them?
    3. How will you capture and nurture them through the buying/selling process?
    4. How will you differentiate what your brokerage has to offer from others in your area?
    5. What is your content plan for web and social media channels

Make sure your plan is something that can be executed within your available resources.

  1. Recruiting Plan – Key to achieving your growth goals will be your recruiting plan. Your financial growth goals will translate directly into recruiting goals and without a specific and consistent plan for this we can tell you from experience that it won’t get done. In your recruiting plan be sure to specify the number of recruits you need to bring in each month and the activities you need to complete to get them in the door. Also make sure you have a plan to train new agents and get them productive as soon as possible. Weichert for instance provides its Fast Track training for new agents which is specifically designed to bring them up to speed fast on proven tactics and systems that allow them to generate income quickly. Brokers love Fast Track as well, because it removes much of the burden of new agent training from their shoulders.

There are many other elements in a good brokerage business plan but the most important element is to sit down and do it! Once you have done it once, then updating it every year and managing it throughout the year, is much easier and will help you adjust your activities when you go off course. It’s better to know right away that you haven’t met your recruiting or listings goals than to be surprised at the end of the year when it’s too late to do anything about it.

And if you feel that you could benefit from expert advice and a business coach to support you every step of the way on your path to growth, then consider talking to the Weichert franchise team today. Go to weichertfranchise.com or call 877-567-3350.

Undeniable Traits Of A Successful Leader

As a real estate broker, you are no longer directly responsible for leading buyers and sellers through the complexities of real estate transactions. Instead, you are now charged with the responsibility of successfully leading your team of real estate agents to reach their potential. While there are many traits and skills that make up what most would consider a successful leader, there are a few that serve as the cornerstones for every broker. As you strive to become the best leader you can be for your team and your business, focus on the development of these must-have traits.

Authenticity

The greatest leadership wisdom taught in lofty places like Harvard has to do with being authentic. Authentic leaders are said to value input and feedback, are positive, truthful, and open. They build trust and generate enthusiastic support that improves both individual and team performance.

Consider that a career in real estate can feel like a roller coaster, full of ups and downs. For some real estate agents, the downs can lead to doubts in their abilities and fears about their future. As their broker-leader, you can help shoulder those burdens by being an authentic leader who has both empathy for their situation, but whose enthusiasm and positivity helps them stay focused and motivated. Being an authentic leader, also helps creates the authentic culture in your brokerage that will minimize turnover and help improve production.

Recognition

There is nothing more demoralizing than having those you look up to ignore your strengths and accomplishments. As a leader, it is your job to give recognition to those agents that perform well and showcase exceptional talents. If you hold team meetings, you may want to consider regularly giving out awards or tokens of recognition to worthy individuals. Certainly top performers should be recognized, but there are many things you can recognize people for. In the spirit of being authentic, just make sure they are recognized for real achievements.  If you look hard enough, everyone has something meaningful they have achieved that you can hold up for your team.

Humility

Everyone makes mistakes. The difference between an average joe and a successful leader is that a leader is humble and willing to admit their mistakes. This is another attribute of the authentic leader, the willingness to admit mistakes. In fact, as a real estate broker, you have a special opportunity to use your hard earned knowledge to save your agents from wasting their own time, money, and resources in the same ways you may have as an agent. By exercising humility and openly leveraging your mistakes into lessons, your entire team can work smarter and will have deeper respect for you as a leader.

Empowerment

One of the first things you had to learn to do as a broker was to stop selling homes yourself. Now the next part is actually empowering your agents to do the selling and make them as good at it as you were. Don’t be a broker who swoops in and personally fixes everything, whenever a deal hits a rough spot. Instead give your team the training they want, the advice and support they need, and the encouragement to be successful. Agents who feel empowered and supported, and who are not micromanaged, will take more initiative and over time will develop into more productive and motivated sales associates.

Accountability

If you strive to lead an all-star team, you must lead by example by being accountable for what you say and do. This really means getting back to some basics like saying what you will do, and doing what you say you will. Since the buck stops with you, some things will naturally float up to your level, and when agents see that you will jump in and handle the big challenges, their confidence in your leadership will grow.

Accountability is actually one of the important skills Weichert teaches its brokers through the Weichert Management Academy. The academy, open to Weichert owners, brokers and managers across the country, teaches attendees all the important elements of building a successful team and managing a successful business. In this training the behaviors that constitute accountable leadership at every level are discussed. Being accountable means employees will feel your organization is solid, and that they are both well supported, and empowered to move their business forward.

There’s Always Room To Be A Better Leader

As a real estate agent, you successfully developed your abilities as a salesperson. As a broker, your focus shifted to being an effective leader. If you think you could benefit from leadership coaching and training programs, as well as a collection of production boosting tools and systems for your agents go to weichertfranchise.com or call 877-746-2067.

 

5 Fun Ways To Build Winning Real Estate Team Chemistry

As a broker, it may often feel as though you have a to-do list that is a mile long and always growing. Sometimes this can lead to neglecting things which may not be as urgent, but which are equally important and integral to the big picture of your brokerage’s success. For many brokers, team building exercises are one of those things that typically falls through the cracks. Brokers may view their agents as silos who mostly work independently or for whom such comradery has limited value. As everyone knows, growing a brokerage has constant challenges related to recruitment and retention. The fact is that team building activities are beneficial to you, your agents, and your overall mission of growth. So finding a way to incorporate these activities can be an investment in achieving that.

Here are a few of the benefits you can expect when you choose to engage in regular team building exercises:

  • Creation of a positive work environment.
  • Increased loyalty which means a decrease in expensive turnover of your agents.
  • A team that is more supportive of helping one another grow and be successful.
  • Buzz on the street about how engaged your brokerage is in supporting its agents.
  • A team that is more engaged and more productive.
  • Enhanced problem-solving skills and creativity shared among your agents.

According to research conducted during Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Survey, having a good friend at work can boost one’s engagement level by up to 50%. (1) Team building helps to foster those relationships. Here are five ways to build winning chemistry amongst your agents through team building exercises.

Team Building Exercise 1 – Share The Mission Of Your Brokerage

Of course, everyone working in real estate is hoping to make a good living at it. Selling lots of big homes, being a million dollar agent is the dream of every serious real estate agent. But your mission as a broker and the person responsible for helping achieve this has to be better than just “make a lot of money”. Helping people buy the home of their dreams is a tremendously positive and impactful service you provide. Your mission statement should reflect this.  It should be formal, and it should be a collaborative effort between you and your team that you revisit periodically. It should include things like how you will present yourself to clients and the community, how you will treat your clients and partners, and how you will delight and exceed expectations at every step of the process. A jointly developed, “feel good” mission for your brokerage creates team cohesion around a common set of principles beyond “make a lot of money”. Print it and post it proudly in your office.

Team Building Exercise 2 – Develop And Incentivize Mentor Relationships

As agents are new to real estate and new to your team, they are usually in search of guidance and support from more seasoned agents that can show them the ropes. As a broker, your success derives from your agents continuously growing both personally and professionally so that they can close more deals. The larger you grow, the less time you will have to be able to offer that coaching to your agents on a one-on-one basis. Mentorships are valuable among your agents as it will save you from having to mentor each member of the team yourself individually. Develop a program in which more successful and experienced agents mentor new team members, welcome them, and help them become acclimated to your policies, practices, and strategies.

Team Building Exercise 3 – Have Weekly Meetings and Awards

Even if you believe in fostering a strong sense of independence in your agents, it is wise to keep all of them grounded to your overall success as a team. One way to do this is to bring the team together regularly for a fun, open discussion with some monetary reward and recognition for significant achievements. You may want to present them with fun certificates for them to display in their offices, as well as, gift cards or cash. Holding these meetings puts you out front as their leader and keeps you connected to the team in a more personal, fun way. Plus, the positive incentive will further reinforce your agents’ productions levels and loyalty.

Team Building Exercise 4 – Sponsor Non-Sales Group Activities

Of course, sales are a top priority to both your agents and to you as their broker. Without sales, nobody eats. However, bonding together as a team should not always revolve around driving more sales. One way that you can encourage more engagement amongst your agents is to sponsor non-sales activities. Ideally, you would do this for teams that achieve something significant such as attracting the most new agents to the team, developing a new streamlining process, closing the most sales for the period, or successfully incorporating a new technology. When you do this, other teams within your brokerage will take note that you are supportive of such healthy practices and become motivated to work harder themselves.

Team Building Exercise 5 – Become Volunteers and Role Models

In addition to creating a positive public image for your brokerage, your agents working together for a greater good is a powerful shared experience. Try to choose a cause that is meaningful to your agents, and in line with your brokerage’s values, to increase their engagement and participation. If you hold monthly meetings, present your agents with two or three options that are all aligned with your mission and will require your team to work together cohesively to move the needle forward for the cause. Then have them vote on the cause that they would prefer to support. Send out reminders leading up to the event and generate additional interest on social media. Following each charitable event, be sure to thank your agents, share the difference that they made, and highlight the importance of working together as community role models, not just real estate professionals.

A Worthwhile Investment In Your Growth

Some of these team building exercises are easy and simple to do, while others require more time to plan. Whatever time you can spend here however, is well worth the investment. As your team grows stronger together, your brokerage will become a place everyone wants to be a part of, and no one wants to leave.

At Weichert, we offer support to our affiliates so they can accomplish many of these types of activities and strengthen their brokerages. National and regional Awards & Recognition programs, workshops and conferences, inspiration and public relations support for community involvement and one-on-one coaching to develop solid recruiting and retention programs are just some of the many things we provide. Ours is a people-first philosophy based on building and cultivating relationships, whether it’s a client or an associate.

For more information on how to support your team for growth and continue to move forward, call 877-567-3350 or visit weichertfranchise.com.

Sources:

(1)http://www.gallup.com/services/176708/state-american-workplace.aspx

Franchise Success Spotlight Profile: Weichert Affiliate Beth Dickens—Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty

Not more than 25 miles northwest of Fort Worth sits the charming rural community of Springtown, Texas, where long time affiliate Beth Dickens runs Weichert Realtors – Team Realty.

Beth Dickens Owner Weichert Team Realty

With a population of close to 4,000 and within commuting distance to downtown Fort Worth, Springtown has seen its fortunes rise slowly over its rich, 160 year history. Housing in Springtown and throughout Parker County represents a rural, farm and ranch lifestyle that Beth Dickens has called home since she was a child. “As a girl I had a doll house.” she remembers, “I would pretend to try and sell it to people. I guess I was born to be a real estate agent.”

After years as an agent Beth and her business partner Lorene, finally opened Team Realty as independent brokers in 1998. The pair did moderately well, but Beth recalls the constant challenge of recruiting and keeping new agents. “We went from 5, to 10, then back to 5 again, we just couldn’t get to that next level and sustain it. It’s hard for an independent in a rural market with so many other well-known brands around.”

Over the years Beth and Lorene had flirted with the idea of affiliation with a national real estate brand and had entertained pitches from RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, Century 21, Keller Williams and others, but hadn’t really felt compelled to make a move. But in 2007, someone from Weichert® came knocking on their door. The Weichert story felt like something different.

“The sophisticated Weichert internet presence and reach was quite amazing to us. There’s no way an independent can compete with that kind of investment and those kind of systems,” notes Beth. What appealed to her was the Weichert internet marketing approach that brings over 40 million visitors a year to their website from around the country. Leads are routed to their call center and calls are carefully screened by trained operators and sent to live agents typically in under 2 minutes.

There was, however, another thing they both noticed in their dealings with Weichert that was equally appealing–their ethics. This was the first franchise team that really made Beth and Lorene feel like they cared about their success as a brokerage and as individuals. At the time of these discussions, they were actually on the verge of opening another office, but Weichert asked them not to. “This was Weichert walking away from money because they felt we needed to be more successful out of the one office we had before we started another one. That really impressed me”.

Beth & Lorene had about 8 agents when they joined Weichert and Beth admits that some of them were worried about the affiliation. “A few people got hung up on the fees”, says Beth “but the great majority of them saw that it was better for them long term”.

Getting Up To Speed With Weichert

And so Beth and Lorene signed on with Weichert in 2007 and became Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty. Joining the partnership was both a relief, and the beginning of exciting changes in their professional life. It was a relief in that the Weichert coaching team, and its proven systems had the answers to so many of the growth and business development challenges they had struggled with as an independent agency for years.  It was also exciting as Beth and her husband bought Lorene out in 2008 and dove headlong into the Weichert training and systems. Almost immediately, they noticed an odd thing when they put the Weichert sign on the building.  “Suddenly recruiting got a whole lot easier,” Beth recalls.  Starting with about 6 agents, in 2007, Beth and her husband slowly built up their team, following the Weichert Methodology.

Change is Good….Really.

Beth and her team loved the training and coaching opportunities afforded by the new relationship and embraced things like Weichert University, Weichert Management Academy, and new Weichert systems and technology.

Beth describes Weichert’s listing presentation system, “DOORS”, as a game changer. Not only is it automated online and easy to create, but it is homeowner centric not brokerage focused. Beth notes that the “price trend analysis” provided by Weichert is also so much better than the simple comparative market analysis they did previously. The combined effect of better training, better materials, better data, and a solid brand affiliation created a noticeable improvement in their closing rate.

Another way in which Weichert was different is in their processes around running open houses. In an internet age where so many agents will tell you “open houses don’t work” or “they’re just for the seller”, the comprehensive Weichert process around running open houses really works. Everything from signage, to balloons, door knocking, and all the online and printed material that goes with it are covered by the proven Weichert open house management system. But the proof is in the results: Beth’s team sells at least one house per month from leads that come from her agents’ open houses.

Results

Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty has just moved into their second decade as a Weichert Affiliate. Starting from their modest single office with 6 agents, Beth has indeed opened that second office, and boasts a staff of 28 agents serving the rural farm, ranch, and residential markets surrounding Fort Worth Texas.

But most impressive is her top line growth. Beth has overseen the growth of Weichert, Realtors® – Team Realty to more than 20 times the revenue they had before they joined Weichert.  To hear Beth tell it, “These folks have done for me everything they said they would do. If they told me I had to stand on my head to sell more houses, well I’d start yoga lessons tomorrow…”

The Weichert Way

Being a Weichert affiliate is a partnership, a collaboration, done with great respect for what you’ve already achieved and learned.

After all, you’ve already built a successful business.

We can help you do more

For more information on becoming a Weichert Affiliate, call 1-(877) 567-3350  or visit www.weichertfranchise.com .