This year, United Real Estate jumped 131 spots in RISMedia’s Power Broker Report of the top 1,000 companies, ranking No. 8 in the nation on transaction sides. How did we do it? By adhering to our guiding principle of positioning our brokerages for long-term success by first positioning our agents for success. Sounds obvious, right? It’s a simple concept, but it’s much more complicated to execute this strategic imperative, and our growth suggests that we’ve cracked the code.
The current brokerage environment, including its ever-eroding profit margins for non-scaled, traditional-feeling brokerages, requires two non-negotiable strategic imperatives for success:
1. The ability to get to scale without the usual quid-pro-quo increase in operating expenses.
2. Extremely high effectiveness and efficiencies in back-office brokerage workflows and front-facing agent productivity systems
Equipping Agents to Demonstrate Their Value to Clients
Are your agents demonstrating their command of local market expertise to clients? When clients truly get the message of this kind of value, it’s much more difficult for third-party digital interlopers to get between your agents and their clients.
Agents must have the right information and be able to communicate it effectively. Brokerages, therefore, must be armed with the information tools delivered across a brokerage and agent productivity platform whenever called upon. Brokers and agents need a cloud-based solution accessible from a multitude of devices.
The “right” productivity platform includes automated marketing systems, market research and analysis tools, agent websites, a document management system, CRM tools, virtual training, paperless transaction management and chat or live support.
The solution must enable agents to access and convert market data into actionable advice that fuels satisfying client interactions. It should allow agents to communicate useful, relevant information more easily and more frequently. It should simplify agents’ daily tasks, while giving them more time to interact with clients.
Making all of this happen, while making sure your agents keep as much gross commission as possible, means having a cloud-based, efficient and effective productivity platform for both your brokerage and your agents. For most brokerages, this begs the question as to whether to make or buy the platform. While hundreds of functionality providers are hawking tools to the brokerage industry, most use expensive per-agent, per-month pricing models that are huge roadblocks to scalable profitability.
When you layer in the fact that transaction-fee based agent compensation models have fast become the rule and not the exception, you quickly realize that getting to scale with these fee models is too expensive to leave profit in the business. The tools must be scalable without incrementally increasing your technology costs as you grow.
For brokerages to succeed, agents must succeed. Simple concept, but challenging to execute. It’s all about being able to educate, train and equip agents and brokerages with an effective productivity platform and scale operations efficiently. United Real Estate’s agent growth (we doubled our size to over 11,000 agents in the last 12 months) is proof positive that when you get it right, a profitable scale can be reached.