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When smart, dynamic leaders get together and talk through challenges and opportunities they encounter, patterns emerge. Even with different personalities, backgrounds and opinions at the table, it becomes evident that successful people tend to view the fundamentals in a similar way.

Here’s an example. Earlier this year, a few hundred top RE/MAX brokers gathered in Scottsdale, Ariz., for several days of brainstorming, collaboration and feedback. It was a fantastic event that left me encouraged and optimistic. It also revealed some common areas in which today’s brokers shape their offices.

Here are five activities top brokers focus on:

  1. Managing Time

In offices of any size, the demands on a broker’s time can be stifling. In fact, the brokers in Scottsdale identified time management as one of their biggest challenges. To make the most of each day, they delegate the small stuff, time-block and concentrate on dollar-productive activities. Some have closed-door “power hours” built into their daily routines. They all agree that prioritizing is essential, and the vast majority of them do their most important work first thing in the morning.

  1. Adding Value

Successful brokers understand that in order to attract and retain solid producers, they need to provide irreplaceable value and be able to communicate it effectively. In Scottsdale, I was impressed by how innovative and forward-thinking the brokers were, especially about support services. They know stagnation is a recipe for failure. Great brokers improve their offerings constantly, adding value for their agents and creating a virtuous circle leading to even more sales, recruits and opportunities.

  1. Developing Agents

The best offices have an environment of constant, comprehensive agent development. In fact, a broker’s ability to teach agents how to be more productive and close more sales might be the greatest retention tool of all. Brokers who offer systematic, relevant instruction in areas such as prospecting, listing presentations and lead conversion develop better agents and build stronger connections at the same time. One broker at the meeting put it this way: “I commit to the success of my agents every single day.”

  1. Growing Their Business

Many of the top brokers view recruiting as a process of becoming a resource for agents and letting the relationship grow from that point. The approach is more conversation, less presentation. They also realize that recruiting requires intentional, sustained attention and action. The first step is defining objectives. The second is designing a plan and sticking with it.

  1. Leading by Example

Leaders generally reflect their organizations, and vice versa, so it’s no surprise that professional, energized and productive brokers generally attract agents with the same qualities. As a result, core values associated with those traits become embedded in a firm’s culture, mission, vision and beliefs. It’s a winning formula. “Surround yourself with great people, set the bar high and deliver,” one broker said.

Ultimately, being a broker in today’s ultracompetitive industry is difficult, and there are no easy answers. From what I heard in Arizona, providing value that exceeds expectations—and helps agents achieve maximum success—is clearly the best way to go.

Geoff Lewis is president of RE/MAX, LLC.

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