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2014_growthToday’s top brokers are constantly evaluating what it takes to not only survive, but thrive in today’s real estate market. Recently, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate’s brokers discussed their 2014 best practices for staying on top, keeping affiliated agents motivated, increasing profitability and staying relevant for the digital age of homebuyers.

The Office: Creating Value
Think of your office walls as a professional canvas. Clearly displaying your brand’s values prevents affiliated agents from losing sight of these principals and ensures your customers know exactly what your company stands for the moment they step into your office. Office spaces should foster collaboration and encourage efficiency among affiliated agents.

“We recently moved one of our offices and created a modern space for agents. We used different aesthetics, including brighter color palettes, cleaner lines and made the overall space less ‘busy.’ By opening the workspace to allow for more light, larger windows and greater access to others, we created collaborative and communal spaces so agents who affiliate with us could more easily open their minds to generate bigger and better ideas and achieve greater levels of success,” says Joseph Rand, managing partner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty.

Promoting a ‘Connected’ Culture
A well-connected broker/agent relationship provides for a well-connected agent/customer relationship.

“Staying connected with affiliated agents is critical. We consistently seek authentic feedback from agents to keep a finger on the pulse of our company’s culture,” says Leighton Dees, chairman & CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Generations. “Hosting inspirational meetings that focus on building business strategies helps to recharge agents who affiliate with our company.”

Some brokerages are stepping outside of the box when it comes to agent communications by creating private Facebook groups to regularly communicate with affiliated agents, send invites for company meetings/events and share real estate trends with one another. Brokers are also using social media tools to highlight agent accomplishments and offer positive encouragement for new affiliated agents.

Fine-Tuning Profitability
In order to generate the highest value, business models must be built on your brokerage’s strengths and the talents of your affiliated agents. Keeping your brokerage as efficient as possible ensures you have the best possible staff and sales associates working to achieve the business goals set forth by the brokerage.

“Time and time again, brokers will waste resources creating systems or buying technology that doesn’t align with what affiliated agents value most,” says Rand. “Identify exactly what agents have benefitted from in the past so you can make the right investments that will not only drive revenue, but help affiliated agents become more efficient and drive a higher quality experience for your customers.”

Using Technology But Staying Human
Virtual technologies are becoming increasingly valuable in today’s globally connected world. Utilizing free video conferencing for meetings helps affiliated agents from afar personally connect with local agents in a modern-day, face-to-face manner. Additionally, mobile apps and technologies are critical when looking to engage and build relationships with today’s digitally-savvy, next-generation homebuyers—but content is key.

Technology tools must have a defined purpose and serve to enhance your business. While these tools often aid efficiency, the most valuable interaction with a prospective buyer is a physical, face-to-face human connection.

“We are a ‘human company’ in the ‘peoplework revolution,’” says Dees.

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