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By Daniel Collins, Realty ONE Group

The American Dream means different things to different people. To me, it means being able to create your own destiny, being able to go after whatever you want, and being able to achieve it through hard work. It means that the only person holding you back is you.

As a REALTOR® for more than a decade and a Realty ONE Group franchise owner (with five locations and more than 230 agents) that has seen 450 percent growth since opening the franchise in 2014, I can proudly say I am living my dreams. But owning a real estate business is no easy feat. Like creating a business in any industry, starting a real estate business requires problem-solving and dealing with complexity in various forms. Here are three things I’ve learned that have been invaluable in reducing these complexities:

  1. Don’t Be a Jack (or Jill) of All Trades

Bottlenecking is an unfortunate occurrence in the real estate industry. The brokerage owner oftentimes ends up trying to be the Jack (or Jill) of all trades, working at full capacity and therefore not able to handle any additional demand. This should never be the case. Having to deal with buyers, sellers, networking, etc. is a huge undertaking and an owner should be able to leverage their brokerage for systems, tools, resources and support. Just like a doctor’s office isn’t a one-man show—everyone plays a role so the doctor can focus on his or her main job—so should a brokerage function.

  1. Build Your Business Around Your Team, Not Yourself

As a young real estate agent, I never thought I would eventually own my own brokerage. But as I grew in my career, I became focused on building up the next group of agents. I realized I wanted to be able to give new agents coming in what I wish I had when I came into the industry: proper support. By supporting your agents in every way you can, you organically create brand advocates who will naturally grow your brand.

  1. Find a Franchise Model That Works for You

When choosing a franchise model, consider how the company uses the money it makes, how its culture and work environment fit into your business personality, and whether the commission models, agent support and base infrastructure are agreeable to you. Finding the right franchise is key to expanding your knowledge of the industry and leveraging the opportunities around you.

Part of living my dream is knowing that I am part of something bigger, and I am able to not only continually grow my team, business and territory, but also my depth of knowledge. Real estate is an incredibly dynamic field, and expanding your understanding of the business can help revitalize the industry.

Daniel Collins is co-owner and team leader of The Collins Team with Realty ONE Group in Flagstaff, Ariz.

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