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RISMEDIA, August 28, 2010—Staying flexible while continuing to grow is one of the biggest challenges real estate professionals are facing in today’s market. But, as the real estate market continues to change and evolve, it is crucial for business owners to be able to implement changes quickly. Here, Steve Fogarty, president and designated broker, Realty Executives Associates discusses how his company has found continued success through remaining flexible and being willing to implement change at a moment’s notice.

Steve Fogarty
President and Designated Broker
Realty Executives Associates

Over the past few years, we’ve had to learn how to run our businesses more efficiently, but with less resources and money.

During this tumultuous time, our company has focused on two things: staying flexible in order to ride out the storm and continuing to grow our agent services.

It’s critical for a business owner, particularly one that works in an ever-changing market such as real estate, to have the ability to implement change quickly. How can we realistically cut expenses without impacting agent service? More importantly, what could we do to support our agents and help make them successful, despite market conditions?

It is important to approach your team in a personal way, in addition to your coaching strategy. How can you not only make the work easier, but help relieve some of the pressure they’re feeling?

Giving the agents something meaningful to get excited about is crucial. We made efforts in various areas to keep them encouraged and see realistic opportunities for success. For example, we hosted a conference where we rolled out new resources and worked to shift their mindsets into one of action. We also implemented a pre-pay plan and other financial incentives that allow agents to get discounts or added services for paying upfront and staying current.

Additionally, we’ve bolstered agents’ tool bags. What did they need to make a difference in their work flow? We gave every agent an individualized fax number, instituted new front office and document housing software to expedite processes and provide mobile access, issued seven-days-a-week hotlines where agents can reach a broker, mortgage or title company quickly, and converted our conference rooms into media centers. These changes have resulted in agents doing more work, faster and with less effort.

There is a silver lining to the economic downturn. We’ve been forced to refine qualities that transcend any market condition, which will ultimately lead to higher productivity and success. I can only imagine the impact these changes will have on our industry when we have more favorable conditions. Here’s hoping it comes soon.