Tag Archives: Real estate business coach

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.

The Power Of Brand

Brand is a powerful thing. Yet, many real estate brokerages underestimate its power in attracting consumers.  A successful brand can be leveraged to establish trust, credibility, and ultimately, success. Many successful owners have worked hard to build a name for their company, which has helped lead them to where they are today. However, for many brokers, building a brand that people instantly trust and want to engage with, can be challenging. Where do you start? How do you compete? How do you make yourself memorable?

Customer Service: What Does It Really Mean?

It is not news to anyone that customer service is a top priority to consumers, but in real estate, it’s all about customer service. So what exactly defines quality customer service for real estate agents and brokers? While many brokers agree on some key elements of this, it’s surprising how many different answers you get. According to NAR, buyers and sellers have named honesty, technology, and regular communication as their top priorities in terms of customer service. No matter how you define it, it’s what the customer values that’s important.  Take a look at your company. How would you rate your brokerage and your agents in these areas? If they’ve not been a priority, make them priority in your operations. By focusing on these areas, you’ll be on the path to delivering the best service possible in your market. But consistency is also critical. Good brands deliver consistent experiences. It’s why customers keep going back. Define and post your unique definition of customer service for everyone to see and make sure your entire team trains on it and keeps it top of mind. When everyone defines service in the same way, using the same tools, that’s the beginning of building a real brand experience that means something to people.

Effect on Lead Generation

It’s a simple fact. The strength of your brand has a direct impact on your ability to generate inbound leads, which can directly affect the success of your company.  As a broker, you want to ultimately build a brand that magnetically attracts buyers and sellers which you can hand-off to your agents. That makes you valuable in the eyes of your agents. The struggle for many independent brokers is that they simply can’t invest the kind of money in branding and lead generation that large, national real estate companies do. At Weichert, the lead generation challenge is one of the biggest reasons that independent brokers turn to us for help.  The Weichert national lead generation strategy creates a constant stream of quality leads, by leveraging both digital marketing and technology. Not only does Weichert cultivate leads inside your market through our lead network, but it provides lead opportunities from our rental company, relocation company, and referrals from our network of over 500 offices across the country.

Brand Touch Points

A silent brand is no brand at all. You can’t build a brand that generates leads and recruits new agents without implementing a system of regularly reaching out and touching your community with events, ads, content, volunteering…and yes, even Open Houses. In fact, the more that you get your brand in front of consumers in your service area, the more brand recognition and credibility you will achieve. It is human nature to feel comfortable with things you are exposed to repeatedly, but make sure it looks consistent. These touch points create a connection and understanding with your brand that makes doing business easier down the line. The brokerages that are able to touch their community the most will be the one buyers and sellers think of when it’s time. As a broker your job is to use all your knowledge and skills and all the media and personal channels at your disposal to get your brand out in the world, and keep it there.

 

Independent Broker Independence VS. Big Brand

Many independent brokers feel like affiliation means giving up their identity, their independence, and everything they’ve built and learned over time.

But what if that wasn’t true?

What if you could maintain your independent operating style and culture, while plugging into the benefits of national branding, lead generation, recruiting systems, agent education systems, technology, coaching and more? What if someone could really show you how to do this in a proven way that has taken others like you to the next level of success?

If that sounds like the kind of brand you’d like to be part of, give us a call today to find out more: 877-567-3350, or visit us at weichertfranchising.com.

Tips For Coaching New Real Estate Agents

Real Estate Coaching

Bringing new real estate agents into your brokerage, can be an exciting part of growing your business. For a new agent that is eager to grow and open to new ideas, real estate coaching is essential in order to teach them how to create and cultivate leads and sharpen their sales skills to achieve their desired results. Some of these new agents will be young, working in real estate for the first time. These young agents can be a great source for reaching first time homebuyers and connecting with Millennials.

But let’s face it, whether they are new to your brokerage or new to the industry completely, they are going to need training and supervision to be productive and understand your unique systems for marketing and selling.

Fast Track To New Agent Productivity

To increase new agent productivity, ensure retention, and produce strong agents, brokers need to quickly train and reinforce best sales practices and proper systems in their new recruits. However, it can be a challenge as a broker to conduct individual training sessions, while trying to also manage a company. To achieve both goals, have a formal plan that includes an active and diverse set of training strategies. In addition to helping your new hire, these practices will become word of mouth for your brokerage and new agents will want to join you over others if the word is out that your training is the best in the area.

Here’s a few tips from the professional coaches at Weichert:

Assign A Mentor to All New Agents

Some brokers do a few individual trainings, but expect the new agent will primarily learn the ropes from an already established agent. Seasoned agents often appreciate the extra help to further grow their business (and share commissions), while also imparting their knowledge and expertise as a new agent mentor. For consistency, set a timeline of goals for new agent productivity that includes occasional meetings with you. During each goal review meeting, discuss these results and how the new agent can improve. Setting these mutually agreed upon goals really is important to both you, and your new agent.

Consider Supplementary Online Training Systems

Some brokers who do not have good internal systems may bring in outside real estate trainers. While this can be effective, it is also an additional brokerage expense. As a less costly approach there are web-based coaching programs that you can investigate as a supplement to other personalized methods. These are cheaper than hiring a personal coach, but typically are very generic treatments of processes that may or may not be suitable for your business.   The ideal situation is training that perfectly describes your business model, your processes, and your tools. Weichert training for example, provides online courses, scripts and other tools through their online University that directly support the proven processes and systems that Weichert gives their affiliates. They are highly specific and relevant to the operational model that has proven to be so successful for Weichert affiliated brokers.

Build a Formal Training Program

Many brokers create and present extensive real estate coaching agent programs which they have built over many years. It’s good to have something formal that defines how things operate inside your agency, and best practices as you see them, but this, too, can require a great time and resource investment to cultivate. One of the benefits of franchising is access to this type of sophisticated training. Weichert affiliate agents, for instance, have access to Weichert’s “Fast Track” training and live sales training sessions to quickly get new agents up and running with the tools and systems needed for long-term success in the business.  Weichert agents and managers also benefit from ongoing weekly webinars and local mastery sessions which provide ongoing live training opportunities given by experts on many different topics critical to agent success.

If you need to grow this yourself however, we recommend that each time you hire a new agent you chisel away at this kind of training material and enhance your training tools so that eventually you’ll have a living, working, comprehensive training program.  Or you can plug into a system that is already developed for you through affiliation.

Final Thoughts

Real estate coaching for new agents doesn’t have to be difficult. It doesn’t have to drain the broker’s time or the company’s revenue.  The best training programs are ones that achieve a balance between your time and expenses, and that contain multiple sources of training material, including hands-on coaching and online training. The best training is also the one designed to complement and support a proven blueprint for both agent and broker success.

Getting and training new agents is the lifeblood of your success as a broker. You can do it yourself, or you can get a big assist from a franchise brand, such as Weichert.

Speak with the Weichert franchise team today and begin to understand how effective a recruiting, coaching and agent training process can be for your brokerage.

Visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com for more information.

Six Tips For Writing A Real Estate Business Plan

 

If you think writing an annual business plan is a waste of time, think again. If you don’t know where you are going, you can’t possibly plot a solid course to get there. Then you are left meandering trying to find the best way forward, instead of having a focused plan of attack. While you might think you have it all figured out in your head, the act of writing it down can actually help you think things through and flush out the necessary details.

A typical real estate business plan will formally state your business goals, strategy, and the operational structure of your brokerage. This can sound time consuming if you haven’t done one before, but in reality, it is a helpful exercise. There are even many online business plan templates available to help and if you are part of a franchise system, like Weichert, not only do you get help creating a business plan to identify your goals, but you get the added benefits of plugging into a time tested blueprint to help you define the activities needed to reach your goals. What is most important, however, is that creating the plan takes you through a comprehensive thought process that involves every area of your current and future business. When you are done with a good business plan, you will fully understand the path you are taking, and how you expect to achieve it from both an operational and a financial standpoint. You’ll understand the challenges you are likely to face and some strategies for minimizing risks. You’ll define your relationships with your partners and investors.  You’ll sketch out your real estate brokerage marketing plans and understand the unique challenges of your local market. You’ll set some yearly goals around sales targets and revenue and set a basic plan that will allow you to get there. Ideally, you’ll want to review the plan regularly to confirm you are on track. This also allows you to react if you aren’t.

Best of all, you’ll have a document you can reference at any time or show future stakeholders that gives a great overview of your business. Here are a few tips for making this process easier from the real estate business coaches at Weichert®:

Creating Your Real Estate Business Plan

  1. You don’t have to start from scratch: There is no reason to re-invent the wheel. There are many templates out there. Find one that fits your style. If you are part of a franchise, like Weichert, you’ll have even more resources at your fingertips, including a template to follow and coaching on strategies and costs of tools and lead generation that is consistent with the best practices in the industry.
  2. Introduce your business: Include a complete and comprehensive description of your brokerage, from identifying your products/services, the nature of your market, and your operational approach to challenges and risks you are facing. Include a management section with information about key management roles and define what each role is expected to accomplish.
  3. Define your customers: The key here is to avoid the temptation to say “well, everybody!”. Is your market primarily retirement age buyers and sellers?  Are your clients urban or rural? Is relocation an important part of your offering? As a successful broker, you have a good understanding of your local market, but a franchise opportunity can bring you new lead opportunities and strategies. It is worth taking the time to define your typical customers and especially any groups you want to focus on, instead of everyone.
  4. Marketing: Your new business plan should reflect all new real estate marketing tools and strategies you utilize. When you are part of a franchise, this can be quite extensive. Weichert for instance, provides comprehensive training and tools in marketing best practices that can help streamline your day to day activities and improve the visibility of your brokerage to both buyers/sellers as well as recruits.
  5. Financial Position:  Documenting your financial position, assumptions, and necessary cash flow is essential whether you are applying for a business loan, have investors, or are using your own investment capital. Include an analysis of all costs related to the business, including commissions, rent, fees, marketing costs, salaries and other overhead. We call this knowing your company dollar. You should also forecast the increased revenue you expect to achieve by reaching your goals over a given time period.  A business coach can help you with benchmarks and strategies to help you meet them to ensure a sustainable, profitable business.
  6. Get an independent review: Even if you’ve reviewed your franchise business plan over and over, it’s always recommended getting a fresh set of eyes on it to ensure that all your bases are sufficiently covered and that the information is relevant, clear and concise.  A business coach can be invaluable in helping with this.

Take the Time, Do the Plan

The development of a good business plan is a rewarding exercise. The work is its own reward, we promise! And if you’ve chosen a partner like Weichert, you’ll have expert advice and a business coach to support you every step of the way.  If you are a growth-minded broker looking for ways to make your brokerage more productive and get to the next level of results, talk to the Weichert franchise team today.

Visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com for more information.