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For any successful real estate agent, there comes a time when you inevitably ask yourself, “What’s next?” Even at the pinnacle of a sales career in real estate you still need to think about your next move and how to continue to expand and grow a business asset. Attend any real estate conference, training class or networking event, and you’ll find yourself surrounded by countless professionals who are in search of answers that will take their real estate career to the next level. So why do some leave the event and achieve a better life, a better career, more success, more money and even a better future, while others go year after year with little growth or change?

The reality is very few agents in this industry seize the opportunity to truly run their real estate businesses as true entrepreneurs. But, for those who do understand, harness and implement entrepreneurial strategy in their businesses, there’s a path not only to success, but also to long-term business growth and fulfillment.

If you’re a top-performing agent who aspires to begin building your own asset, the path to growing your career is less daunting than you think. Get started by following these steps:

Step 1: Decide to Change
Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I invested in growing professionally and financially?
  • Am I ready to stop chasing “the next deal” and build an asset?
  • Am I interested in helping others succeed?
  • Am I ready to take the next step in my career?

If you answered “yes” to any or all of these, then you’re ready for a strategic change to grow your business. Making the decision to change is half the battle.

Step 2: Make a Plan
This is where the fun begins! Many thoughts will be running through your mind now that you’ve made the decision to take your business to the next level. Do your research and document a plan starting with your end goals. The best way to plan is to work backwards from what you’re trying to achieve.

Once you’ve decided to make a move and open your own brokerage, finding the right fit in a franchise or deciding to forge ahead as an independent broker is the next critical step. As you begin planning, ask yourself this next set of questions:

  • What is the best model for my brokerage (transaction-based or traditional)?
  • Do I want to create my own brand (which can be costly and cumbersome) or launch an existing franchise brand in my market?
  • What will I bring to the table for other agents to want to join me?
  • Are my finances in order?
  • What technology do I need to run an efficient brokerage?

Organize these thoughts and do your research so you can make an informed decision when selecting how you’ll model and align your new company. Making the plan can be the hardest part for agents who decide to open their own brokerage company. Oftentimes, highly productive sales agents forget the importance of business planning to gauge and manage growth. Your success as a broker/owner won’t be accidental—make it intentional with thoughtful planning and preparation.

Step 3: Take Action
Once your plan is in place, it’s time to act. Change requires action to achieve results. At this point you’ve asked yourself (and answered) many of the important questions to determine how you’ll establish and grow a profitable brokerage business. The process can be scary for some, but, in the end, this is an exciting time in evolving your real estate career into something much bigger than you originally imagined. If you’re working with a franchise, you’ll also have unending support when it comes to getting details organized and systems implemented. Regardless, be sure to ask for help and guidance from others you respect and trust in this business when you need it.

Give Yourself a Promotion
Others have walked successfully before you, and with dedication, purpose and the right systems, you’ll realize your goals. It’s up to you to complete the steps that move you forward in your career. Advancing from agent to broker doesn’t have to be a dream. With a sound plan and valuable resources to help you along the way, the only career result is success.

Bryan Brooks is the senior vice president of Franchise Sales for HomeSmart International, responsible for spearheading the company’s domestic and international franchise growth initiatives, including mergers, acquisitions, roll-ins and conversion opportunities.

For more information about HomeSmart International, or a confidential discussion, please visit

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