As a broker/owner of a real estate business, it will always be in your best interest to assess your brokerage operations from an objective point of view. No one likes to think about performing an audit—and rightly so. They can be time-consuming and messy if not done the right way. The fact is, if you don’t take time to assess your real estate brokerage operations, you could be running your back-office all wrong.
Sign 1: Too Much Software
In the world of real estate, when it comes to software, less is more. If your brokerage operations are depending on a system that requires more than one or two third-party vendors, this is a strong sign you’re inefficient. Independent systems rarely talk to each other, which requires your agents and employees to patch together the functions and outputs of one system with the functions and outputs of another.
As a real estate broker, if you don’t use one end-to-end system, you would have to go third-party for everything in order to create a technology suite—this could be anywhere from five to 10 vendors. These third-party systems will all require their own log-ins and user profiles, which means you will be responsible for educating your agents on all of these programs and taking the time to set up the automation, information and so on. This is operational inefficiency. When your brokerage operations has one system that moves with an agent and their transactions and all people involved from beginning to end, you’ve accomplished a huge part of operational efficiency. This is something that you were looking for when you chose all of those third-party vendors, but never received.
Sign 2: No Agent Support
Why would an agent sign on with your brokerage? Nine times out of 10, in the real estate world, the agents are running the brokerage. Margins are shrinking as agents demand more because they can find options with better technology and better services. They know what they want, and are looking for the brokerage that will provide it. If you’re not giving them what they need to be an efficient agent, they will go somewhere else to find the tools they need to be productive.
What ends up happening is you try to entice agents in other ways, and this ends up costing you money and time. When you embrace a full-service brokerage model, you have the technology, marketing, training, support call services and more, so you can confidently tell agents you have what they need to be top performers. Agents need to know that the brokerage they are operating under has the support they need to be successful in their careers.
Moving to a full-service brokerage won’t cause you to lose that important face time with your agents; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Your day-to-day tasks will no longer be dedicated to managing all of the non-integrated pieces of your current operating system, and you will become more accessible to your agents when they need you most.
Sign 3: Lack of Measurement
As a business owner, you wouldn’t spend the time or money to pursue or invest in a venture if it didn’t produce worthy results.
When calls come in, how many go to voicemail? When you run reports, do you know where your agents rank in sales dollar volume? If you can’t instantaneously pull up the numbers you need to know to determine where your brokerage operations’ strengths and weaknesses are, take it as a sign of inefficiency.
The third-party software products that you’re utilizing—how many agents are actually using it? If you don’t have the metrics to answer these analytical questions, it’s time to consider finding a solution that handles everything from transaction management to agent support and training. When you begin to assess your numbers and data, you can begin the process of streamlining your efficiencies of scale and get back to what makes you a great broker to begin with.
As a broker, honestly ask yourself how effective you are. You may be surprised to learn that you are stretched too thin, trying to compensate for breaks in your brokerage operations to be as efficient, supportive and metrics-based as your agents need you to be.
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/YesYouCan.
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