As a real estate brokerage owner, you’re responsible for both your own company’s success and helping your agents harness their own opportunities for success. A credible real estate broker is someone who leads by example and can coach his/her agents to be business-minded, while constantly striving for continued growth and is agile enough to strategically adapt with industry and consumer trends. Over the course of my career in the industry, I’ve noticed several characteristics the most successful brokers possess. So, take a moment to look at your own strengths and see how you stack up with other successful broker peers.
- Attentive Leadership
Being a leader of a real estate brokerage is not only about being able to build a brokerage, but also about staying in tune with your agents’ needs, mentoring and coaching for accountability and growth. Time and again I see how successful brokers invest in knowing what their agents’ strengths and weaknesses are, and then coach to those strengths and mentor through weaknesses. It’s behaviors like these that show agents the broker genuinely cares about agent success.
It is also key for a broker to have a presence in the community. A well-connected broker who knows the happenings in their local market and participates in charitable or community organizations can positively influence agents to also get involved and give back to the community. Show me a broker who is invested in bettering his/her agents and community and I’ll show you some agents who want to follow.
- Intuitive Business Acumen
Having strong business intelligence and awareness means being able to understand the bottom line of the brokerage. Oftentimes people become brokerage owners after having sold real estate as an agent first, but, it’s vital to brokerage success that the person managing the day-to-day operations of a brokerage know how to effectively manage the nitty-gritty business details, like assessing P&L reports and identifying opportunities for either investment or streamlining expenses.
Some of the most successful brokerage operators I know have a background in finance or accounting. Why? Because they’re not afraid to make the tough financial decisions for the ultimate good and long-term growth of a company. So, what if your background is in sales or marketing and not finance? Hire or partner with someone you trust who can help you make financially-wise decisions about things like office space leases, technology or marketing expenses.
- Forward Thinking and Growth-Minded
Brokers should always be thinking about how to ensure the future success of the brokerage through consistent growth. You must have the ability to understand and identify why you wanted to build a brokerage. What was the business model you were thinking of when you first started? Did you want to be small and build a boutique brokerage, or did you want to leave a large footprint in the industry? It’s all about understanding what your strategy is and how you can make your dream a reality. The key here is to have a solidified growth plan in place for both the short and long term.
It is also important to know when to expand properly, whether through mergers or acquisitions, and, when it makes sense to open additional locations. Always consider which growth path is the best for your business, and seek advice if you want an outside opinion.
- Adaptable to Change
Identifying changes in the marketplace, economy and housing market and then being able to adapt and change is crucial. As markets fluctuate, technology trends advance and consumer needs readjust. It’s important to be in front of what’s happening in your market and the industry as a whole. To stay ahead of the competition, it’s always wise to arm yourself with competitive intelligence. Research how other industries are adapting and then apply timely and strategic changes to your own company.
Most of what we, as a society, do/experience/interact with today is influenced by technology. It’s no secret the way we do real estate has changed dramatically over the last 10 years and we’re becoming so tech-focused as an industry, even Wall Street is investing heavily in real estate technology. Brokers need to keep up, because the biggest hindrance killing small- and medium-sized brokerages is technology.
The problem many brokers face is that piecemeal technology solutions can be crushingly expensive to offer agents. It’s costly to provide transaction management, website, CRM and CMA systems for agents, among other things. That’s why understanding all those facets and what’s right for your business is a must. Creating economies of scale to help you streamline your offering will enable you to compete in your market and create value for your agents.
A real estate brokerage runs like a train: The consumers are the passengers, the agents are the train crew who serve the customers, and the broker is the conductor who oversees all operations and communications of the crew and is ultimately held responsible for the happenings on board.
Successful real estate brokers lead teams effectively, guide the financial stability of the brokerage and create ongoing opportunities for agents to harness their own skills to serve homebuyers and sellers with the highest levels of knowledge and service.
Bryan Brooks is the senior vice president of Franchise Sales for HomeSmart International, responsible for spearheading the company’s domestic and international franchise growth initiatives including mergers, acquisitions, roll-ins and conversion opportunities.
For more information about HomeSmart International, please visit HomeSmart.com/Franchising.
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