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growth-webRISMEDIA, March 3, 2009-As I said in my January column, the old days are over…it’s time to get ready for a new type of industry. This article suggests ideas that are not complicated, but necessary if you are serious about moving toward the new reality and hope to be a viable company when we come out of this mess. 

Cutting Expenses Alone Will Not Vault You Into the Future

Cutting expenses does not generate any more leads, attract the right agents or help your existing agents become more productive. Therefore, you must have a strategy to do all three of these things in a new environment where there are less people buying houses, less agents in the industry and existing agents trying to figure out how they will survive.

You must step back, keep your cool, have faith in yourself and know that a lot of people are counting on you to figure this out.

Here are some areas to consider:

– Average age of your agents-How do you help your seasoned top producers continue to succeed while simultaneously attracting the younger generation you need in the future?
– Top producers-Give them a reason to want to change. One example is social media. If they are not utilizing Linked In, Plaxo and other sites to help increase their “sphere,” show them someone in your company who has tapped into the power of this medium.
– Younger agents-Speaking of social media, what are you doing to engage the younger agents that may not be running in the same circles you do, but that you want to recruit? Chances are they are doing a lot of their networking on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
– Office size-I think we can all agree we don’t need huge offices any more since most agents are mobile and meeting at Starbucks anyway. So what are you doing to reduce your footprint? You may be committed to a lease for a few more years, but have you thought about subleasing part of your space?
– Online inquiry response time-NAR states that about half of Internet inquiries go unanswered. How much money might you be leaving on the table? Have you considered putting in some accountability standards or outsourcing Internet lead management?
– Integrated technology strategy-Your site should be fully optimized, including social media, and set up to track Internet inquiries. As a result of having a fully integrated technology strategy, your need for larger office space will decrease.

Some things will require an investment, but you can “reinvent” yourself one step at a time based on whatever budget you can justify-your future success depends on it.

Jose Perez is the president of PCMS Consulting.

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