Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jim Dalrymple II

Panelists at Inman Connect New York on Tuesday said that brokers err by not having written plans, not being flexible and other shortcomings


Anthony Hitt thinks real estate pros need to get back to basics, and the 2023 theme for his company is “refinement.”

But during a session of Inman Connect New York Tuesday, the president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas said that industry leaders sometimes also make critical mistakes that trip them up.

“They don’t have a written plan,” Hitt said of leaders’ most common error.

He went on during the session to argue that creating a specific written plan doesn’t have to be a huge task, nor is it impossible. But it is necessary — particularly doing these more uncertain times — because “you do need to know what the goals are that you need to accomplish in the near year.”

And he added that it’s also useful to have contingency plans for different types of market situations. At Engel & Völkers, Hitt noted, the plans are color-coded green, yellow and red.

“You need to know how to shift down into that yellow plan,” Hitt told the packed ballroom at the New York Hilton Midtown. “Or, depending on how the market gets, that red plan.”

Amory Wooden, chief marketing officer for Anywhere, joined Hitt on stage and agreed that real estate leaders do sometimes get tripped up by mistakes. Among other things, she said some fail to set goals. She also argued that some people do make plans, but then get so tied to them that they can’t adapt as the landscape shifts.

“Don’t let a plan lock you, so you lose sight of what’s going on around you,” Wooden said. “Don’t let a plan block you from listening to your customers.”

Immediately before the session featuring Hitt and Wooden, Leonard Steinberg — chief evangelist for Compass — also spent time on stage talking about errors. And in his view, one common mistake brokers make is to become “transaction obsessed.”

“I think one of the worst behaviors of brokerages is when they’re obsessed with transactions,” he added.

Steinberg instead urged company leaders to focus on relationships, including those that evolve well before any actual transactions.

Aside from common mistakes, the panelists also offered advice to help real estate leaders. Hitt, for example, talked about a branding “refinement” his company is doing — its first in 45 years. The goal, he explained, is not to “run away from our past” but to bring the company’s identity up to date and in line with the digital world.

Wooden discussed a similar experience at her company, saying that in the past Century 21 leaders came to parent company Anywhere with concerns about their ability to recruit agents. Century 21 has a long and storied history, Wooden said, but the brand needed a refresh in order to remain relevant in the modern world.

The takeaway from both anecdotes was that brands have to pull off a delicate balancing act. They need to honor the best qualities of their companies’ pasts, though also it’s essential to competitively position themselves in the modern, digital world.

Earlier, during the session with Steinberg, Melissa Sofia — founder of the San Diego-based The Avenue Home Collective — also said that she has had success as a boutique brand that is “trying to be Louis Vuitton” to the various equivalents of Target in the real estate industry. And she added that she tries to recruit people who are fun to be around, rather than for how many deals they do.

“When I’m hiring I’m not hiring en mass, I’m not hiring for production level,” she explained. “I’m hiring for ethos.”

And Jason Allen, director of real estate operations at Redfin who appeared with Steinberg and Sofia, said this is the time to double down on beefing up agents’ abilities.

“We want to make sure we’re developing the best agents and attracting top talent,” he said. “We have a coaching team and a training team that pretty much uses Redfin like a hive mind.”

All of the panelists ultimately agreed that the market isn’t what it was a year ago, but they also said that 2023 doesn’t have to be a disaster. Hitt, for one, said that he doesn’t “believe all the doom and gloom we’ve been hearing is real,” noting that there are still going to be “5 million transactions this year. And Wooden ultimately concluded that despite a more challenging housing market right now, real estate professionals can still succeed in 2023.

“There are great opportunities for those who are hungry and those who are fearless,” she concluded. “Be patient and be ready.”

Correction: Jason Allen, Redfin’s director of real estate operations, appeared on Tuesday’s panel. This post initially misidentified him as Jason Aleem, a senior vice president at Redfin.  

These Are the Mistakes That Thwart Brokers' Success
GBAR
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess

These companies help you keep a steady flow of leads coming at you without upfront costs

Lead generation is the foundation of building a successful real estate business. You can choose to spend money upfront by buying leads from companies like Zillow or Realtor.com, or could there be a low-cost way to have a steady flow of leads?

There absolutely is, and these leads are available through companies that charge no upfront fees. You only compensate them for the leads via a referral fee at closing time. These companies generate the leads, nurture them until they are ready to purchase or list, and then refer them to agents who have been approved to be a part of their networks.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your upfront expenses down but still have a steady flow of leads coming into your business, the following companies are great resources.

1. OpCity

Owned by Realtor.com, OpCity is expanding its offering of lead generation opportunities for agents. The original leads come from Realtor.com or are purchased from other lead generation sites. A representative of OpCity contacts the lead to identify if they are ready to purchase or sell. If they are not ready yet, the leads are nurtured until they are ready to engage an agent.

Whether it be on first contact or after nurturing the lead, once they are ready to be introduced to an agent, a group of agents are notified of a lead opportunity. The first agent to claim the lead is connected to the lead via an introductory phone call with the OpCity representative.

The referral fee paid on closed transactions to OpCity is 30 percent on homes that sell for $150,000 or less and 35 percent on homes that sell for more than $150,000. The approval from OpCity is done at the brokerage level, so your broker must be a participant for an agent to receive leads from OpCity. Once the brokerage is enrolled, new and experienced agents qualify to receive leads.

2. Redfin Referral Network

Redfin, the brokerage, does have salaried employees who hang their licenses with the company, but you can keep your license at your current brokerage and receive referral leads through the Redfin Referral Network. There are geographical areas where Redfin does not have salaried agent employees or where they generate more leads than their agents can handle. In those cases, referrals are available.

The agent requirements include having, as they phrase it, your fair share of closed client transactions and proven client satisfaction through client surveys. The referral fee paid varies by geography, but at last check, it ranges between 33 percent and 40 percent.

3. Rocket Homes

Rocket Homes is owned by Rocket Mortgage. The leads they provide are mortgage approved, have a verified purchase timeframe, are exclusively provided for only one agent, and Rocket Homes provides dedicated support from referral to close for the client and the agent.

Qualifications to receive leads include a minimum of 24 months of experience working as a full-time agent, a minimum of at least eight transactions in the past 12 months and completion of their Verified Partner Agent training program.

4. Estately

Estately is owned by Anywhere and partners with a few agents in every market. It requires a minimum of three years of experience, with five years preferred. They may ask you to provide recommendations from previous clients as well. The referral fee they require is not currently published, but it has been 30 percent in the past.

5. Veterans United Realty

Veterans United Realty is an affiliate of Veterans Home Mortgage that specializes in providing veteran buyer referrals. The leads that come in have already been approved for a VA loan and are relocating to your area.

Veterans United favors agents with experience helping VA buyers and good reviews. Their general expectations are for the agent to reinforce the relationship with the client’s loan officer, maintain regular contact with the clients, and use the assigned Realty Coordinator to keep all lines of communication open throughout the process.

6. HomeLight

HomeLight is a website where you can customize your profile to highlight your business and expertise in your local market. It has a data-driven algorithm that matches motivated buyers and sellers with top-performing agents who have a proven track record of experience and client satisfaction. It utilizes statistics like the number of transactions you’ve completed, your average list-to-sale price percentages and what people say about you via reviews.

The referral fees on this lead source are 25 percent on anything under $4 million and 30 percent for anything over $4 million.

7. Ojo

Ojo is a company that looks to connect buyers and sellers with highly qualified agents. They prefer agents in their network to have a minimum of three years of experience and a minimum of 25 transactions in the past 12 months.

They look for agents to maintain frequent communication with the clients and the concierge support team that is provided to make sure the transaction is a positive experience for the client and the agent. The referral fee is 30 percent.

8. UpNest

UpNest is a great resource for listing lead referrals. It prefers an agent with a minimum of three years of experience and at least six transactions in the past 12 months. Its process involves competing for the listing with other agents that it refers to the prospective referral as well.

The process begins with UpNest informing you about the listing or buyer opportunity. You compete via a proposal that is submitted to the seller or buyer outlining your services and what you will provide. The proposal includes any reductions in commission you are willing to make to secure the business. On top of any concessions you include, UpNest will receive a referral fee of up to 35 percent. The referral fee percentage varies by market and transaction value.

9. Agent Pronto

Agent Pronto looks for high-performing agents in a local market to match them with the buyers and sellers that sign up for their agent matching service. Once the buyer or seller signs up with them, Agent Pronto identifies the agent it believes is the best fit for the client via its Agent Pronto profile, production levels, service areas, specialties, communication and customer ratings.

There are no minimum requirements to join, but to maximize the referral opportunities, the company encourages participants to fill out the agent profile details as completely as possible. The more they know about your business, the more likely you are to receive referrals. The fee is between 25-30 percent depending upon the price and area for the referral.

10. FastExpert

FastExpert is a website where any agent can have a profile page, but you must be in the top 5 percent for transactions in your local market to qualify to receive referral leads. FastExpert ranks agents within their directory for local areas based on their recent sales, years in the business and customer satisfaction. The referral fee for any referrals from FastExpert is 25 percent.

For any business to grow, the quantity and quality of leads must increase. These 10 companies are a great way to increase your lead flow without increasing your upfront expenses. Take advantage of the opportunities they provide, and your business can’t help but grow.

The referral fee percentages vary for these providers, so make sure they have not changed since the research was done for this article.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida.


On a Budget? 10 Lead Sources With No Upfront Costs
GBAR
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Julia Lashay Israel

Real estate agents should be familiar with these duties and make sure to adhere to them in order to avoid legal liability and to maintain the trust and confidence of their clients


Fiduciary duties are legal obligations that require an individual or entity to act in the best interests of another party. In real estate, agents have a fiduciary duty to their clients, which means that they must act in the best interests of their clients and not their own interests.

State-specific fiduciary duties for real estate agents may vary, but many agents may recall learning the acronym OLDCAR in pre-licensing class and as listed here by the National Association of Realtors. Let’s take a closer look at these fiduciary duties:
• Obedience
• Loyalty
• Disclosure
• Confidentiality
• Accounting 
• Reasonable care and diligence

The duty of obedience

The duty of obedience requires the agent to follow the instructions of the client and to act in accordance with the client’s wishes. However, the duty of obedience does not include an obligation to obey any unlawful instructions; such as a request to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing or to misrepresent the condition of the property.

Compliance with instructions the agent knows to be unlawful could constitute a breach of an agent’s duty of loyalty.

Example: It’s Friday evening and you’ve just sat down for a glass of wine. Your client calls and wants you to submit an offer twenty thousand less than the list price. When you contact the listing agent, they inform you that there are already multiple offers on this property and the deadline is in an hour. Your client insists that you submit the offer anyhow. Do you do it? YES! 

On occasion, a client may request something that the agent disagrees with or does not see as favorable for the client. While agents are charged with giving their best advice in the client’s best interest, they are not authorized to think or decide for the client. Taking an apparently unreasonable position on behalf of a client may be necessary and is required under the duty of obedience.

The duty of loyalty

The duty of loyalty is one of the most fundamental fiduciary duties owed by an agent to his principal. The duty of loyalty requires the agent to act at all times solely in the best interests of his principal to the exclusion of all other interests, including the brokers and to not take any actions that would conflict with the client’s interests.

The most common lawsuits brought against real estate agents are for breach of duty because clients place trust in their agents’ expertise and their agent must act in the best interest of the client.

Example: A real estate broker purchases property listed with his firm and then immediately resells it at a profit. Ordinarily, this is perfectly appropriate and lawful by persons acting “at arm’s length.” But a fiduciary will be deemed to have “stolen” a profit opportunity rightfully belonging to his principal and thus to have breached his duty of loyalty.

The duty of disclosure

The duty of disclosure means that agents have a legal obligation to disclose any known material facts about the property or the transaction to their clients. Material facts are facts that could reasonably be expected to affect the value or desirability of the property.

Example:  An agent knows that there is a problem with the property’s foundation. They have a duty to disclose this information to their clients, even if it may be unfavorable to the sale. Similarly, if the agent knows that the seller is under financial duress and is motivated to sell the property quickly, they must also disclose this information to their clients.

The duty of disclosure is important because it ensures that clients are fully informed about the property and the transaction, and can make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the purchase. It also helps to build trust and establish a positive relationship between agents and their clients.

In some states, agents may be required to provide a written disclosure statement to their clients outlining any known material facts about the property. It’s important for agents to familiarize themselves with the specific disclosure requirements in their state.

The duty of confidentiality

The duty of confidentiality requires the agent to keep confidential any information that might weaken his principal’s bargaining position if it were revealed.  This includes any personal or financial information provided by the client, as well as any information obtained during the course of the transaction.

Example:
 A breach of confidentiality can occur unintentionally in the following circumstances:

• Casually sharing prior sale price or fall-through information with colleagues
• Unnecessarily revealing seller or buyer motivation
• Discussing the client’s financial situation or negotiating philosophy
• Revealing things such as “the seller is anxious” or “the buyer just has to have this house” without the client’s express permission
• Divulging unauthorized information, even when this is intended to help the client.
• Telling a buyer the lowest price the seller would be willing to accept
• Disclosing any price other than the list price if not instructed by the seller to do so

CAVEAT: This duty of confidentiality plainly does not include any obligation on a broker representing a seller to withhold from a buyer known material facts concerning the condition of the seller’s property or to misrepresent the condition of the property. To do so would constitute misrepresentation and would impose liability on both the broker and the seller.

Confidentiality as a facilitator: Confidentiality is the only applicable fiduciary duty in a facilitator relationship.

The duty of accounting

The duty of accounting obligates real estate agents to timely account for all money or property belonging to his client that is entrusted to him. This duty compels a real estate broker to safeguard any money, deeds, or other documents entrusted to him that relate to his client’s transactions or affairs. This includes earnest money funds, rents collected or any expenses paid on behalf of a client.

Example: When an agent is holding a deposit for a property on behalf of their client, they have a duty to keep accurate records of the deposit and to account for it properly when it is time to close the transaction.

The duty of reasonable care 

The duty of reasonable care requires the agent to act with the level of care, skill, and diligence that a reasonable and competent agent would use in similar circumstances.

By reason of the license, a real estate agent is deemed to have skill and expertise in real estate matters superior to that of the average person.

As an agent representing others in their real estate dealings, a broker or salesperson is under a duty to use his superior skill and knowledge while pursuing his principal’s affairs.

The agent must know the reasonable limits of his or her expertise and present an honest portrayal of those limits. Fulfilling the duty of reasonable care is also done by making sure to comply with all applicable statutes and regulations, including without limitation fair housing and civil rights statutes.

In general, real estate agents should be familiar with these duties and make sure to adhere to them in order to avoid legal liability and to maintain the trust and confidence of their clients.

It’s important to note that these fiduciary duties are not exhaustive, and may vary from state to state. It’s always a good idea for real estate agents to familiarize themselves with the specific fiduciary duties that apply in their state.

As the head of inclusion and belonging for Keller Williams Realty International, Julia Lashay Israel advises, trains and coaches leaders, team members and agents to recognize and address diversity, equity and inclusion opportunities and challenges across the organization.

Everything Agents Should Know About Fiduciary Duties
GBAR

 

Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess

Act consistently on these tried-and-true strategies and your lead generation efforts will start out strong in 2023

Success in real estate is never guaranteed, but there are certain strategies that always work. If you’re struggling to regain your business’s momentum, these are the nine strategies that can help you get your groove back.

Open houses

The fastest way to regain momentum is to meet as many potential buyers and sellers in person as possible. Open houses are the best way to make this happen. They provide you with the opportunity to be face-to-face with dozens of prospective clients in a short period of time. The key is to understand the three-step process to having a successful open house.

Step 1: Pre-open house
The ability to draw a crowd can be accomplished by a variety of marketing methods. Whether you utilize direct mail, door knocking, social media, or phone calls, the awareness of the open house is critical. Your preparation should involve a marketing plan that lets as many people as possible know about the upcoming open house.

Step 2: Day of the open house
The day of the open house is a time to make sure you maximize the opportunity it presents. This involves as much signage as possible, reaching out with reminders to neighbors, promoting via social media, and making sure you have sign-in sheets for any attendees to check-in.

Step 3: Follow-up after the open house
A successful open house should not simply be measured by the number of people that attend; it should be measured by the number of people you are able to begin a professional relationship with after the event. The key to this is follow-up. Do you have a follow-up plan for your open houses?

My initial follow-up plans included:
Follow-up selfie video text right after the open house thanking them for coming
Follow-up phone call immediately after the open house for hot prospects and within 24 hours to all attendees
Placing all of the attendees in my database and setting them up with automated property detail emails for homes that come on the market like the home from the open house or homes that they indicated they would have an interest in

Open houses are the best way to meet buyers and sellers in person and that fact alone solidifies it is a strategy that always works.

Optimizing Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business pages) for Realtors

Google is the number one search engine in the world. It is utilized by buyers and sellers searching for agents or checking out agents that they may be considering working with. Your Google Business Profile is a free page that will show up on Google with details on your business for people that search for you specifically or for other real estate agents in your area.

The more complete and optimized your page, the more opportunities you will have to generate leads. Complete and accurate pages get seven times more clicks than those with missing information. Make sure you answer every question Google has when setting up your account. If you already have your page set up, go back and complete every question on Google.

Photos are also a critical part of optimizing your page. Statistics show that pages that use photos are 35 percent more likely to get click-throughs to their website. The target number we’ve found is 100 or more photos on your page. These can be homes, parks, amenities in your community, schools, photos of reviews you’ve received on other sites, or any other photos that relate to your community. The key is to understand that the more photos you have, the more you are viewed as being engaged in your business.

Finally, focus on getting as many online reviews as possible. Statistics show that 84 percent of people now trust online reviews just as much as the word of a friend. The more reviews you have on your page, the more you position yourself for calls from prospects viewing your profile.

If you are overwhelmed by the process there are companies like Curaytor or similar that can optimize your page for you, but optimizing your page is a lead generation strategy that always works.

Geographical farming

Geographical farming is a foundational real estate strategy for success if you’re focused on listings. Farming involves choosing a neighborhood or area that you will provide consistent value to in a way that leads to your recognition as the realtor of choice for that area.

It involves direct mail, open houses, just listed/just sold campaigns, community events, and adding value in any way possible to the homeowners in your targeted neighborhood. It works and if you aren’t farming at least one specific neighborhood or area, you’re not fully engaging your business as a professional real estate agent.

Consistent real estate database campaigns

You’ve done the hard work of building a database, but a database alone will not generate business. It is the consistent value that you add to the people in the database that will lead to opportunities. Consistency is the key. Whether that is a weekly or monthly newsletter, updates on properties coming on the market like the one they own or might have an interest in buying in the future, or a general market update

If it has been a while, re-engage your database, and if you currently communicate with your database, increase the frequency. Value added to people that already know, like, and trust you always works.

Buying online leads

Online lead providers like Zillow, Realtor.com, or any of the other real estate lead generation sites provide an opportunity for agents to grow their business. The key is not in the lead flow though, it is in the follow-up systems that lead to conversions.

Make sure you have a follow-up system in place before ever buying leads. This increases the likelihood that the leads you buy will have a positive ROI (return-on-investment).
Once consistency of follow-up is in place, conversion with online leads will follow.

Expired listing campaigns

Expired listing strategies can help you build a pipeline of consistent listing opportunities. This was a strategy that may have been less effective in the low-inventory environment we experienced over the last few years, but that is quickly changing as inventories continue to rise. Now is the time to develop a follow-up strategy for expired listings that adds value to the homeowners and provides you with the opportunity to stand out from other agents.

If you’re not sure what your plan should look like, do a simple Google or YouTube search for expired listing campaigns. Study what others are doing and develop your personalized plans from these models. Add value to expired listing owners, and you will generate listings.

Circle prospecting

Circle prospecting involves calling homeowners around a home that recently had sales activity (new listing or recent sale). Start from a place of providing information about the activity on the home and the conversations will lead to how these sales affect their home’s value.

This is a great strategy for building a database of homeowners and to uncover immediate opportunities. Circle prospecting is the best way I know to generate conversations with potential sellers immediately. The ability to start at any time and the potential for immediate business makes circle prospecting a strategy that never goes out of style.

Just listed and just sold campaigns

The reason so many real estate agents send just listed and just sold postcards is because they work. The presentation should continuously evolve to increase engagement, but this is yet another strategy where consistency is key.
Focus on this fundamental strategy, and your business will grow.

For Sale by Owner campaigns

For sale by owners are basically homeowners raising their hand that they want to sell, they just haven’t realized they need a professional real estate agent yet. The frantic seller’s market of the past few years made it easier for homeowners to go FSBO and achieve their goal of selling their home without the assistance of an agent.

The rise in inventory and decrease in buyer demand has reversed that in the last few months making this a time when FSBO listings need the assistance of real estate agents more than ever.The homes that will eventually be listed will go to the agents that are the most persistent and that assist the homeowners as much as possible. Develop your plan of action that involves phone calls, marketing assistance, and potentially sharing resources like handyman services or staging companies.

Even if you help them sell the home FSBO, you will have a chance to help them buy their next home or refer them to an agent wherever they are moving to.

Effective for sale by owner campaigns are a strategy that always works.

C. S. Lewis said, “Most people don’t need to be taught, they need to be reminded.” Most of these strategies may not be new to you, but how effective are you at executing the strategies you know will help your business grow? Act on one or more of these, and you will get results.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida.
9 Lead Generation Strategies That Work Every Time
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MAA Insider - January 2023
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Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Carl Medford

These are the top closing techniques well-versed agents worth memorizing to handle potential objections from buyers and sellers

As the market continues to morph and transactional opportunities decline, one thing is clear: Agents need to sharpen their skills to be able to close. The problem is that real estate agents have not really had to learn closing techniques for the past 10 years as the real estate market has been on an unprecedented romp.

Couple this with the fact that a high percentage of agents have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, and a startling fact emerges: Many agents lack the fundamental sales skills they will need to make it through the current downturn.

Assuming that a good number of buyers and sellers talk to a few different agents before selecting the one who will represent them, here are the top 10 closing techniques well-versed agents should have memorized, so they are equipped to handle any potential objections.
Because every client and their circumstances are different, agents should not only have the entire range of closings at their disposal; they need to understand which one to use at any given time.

Here are our top 10 closes

1. The assumptive close

This close “assumes” that you will be working with the prospective client. It is a non-pushy, relationally based, future-focused technique that intimates a positive future relationship with a positive outcome. Rather than ask if they want to move forward with you, you “assume” they are going to and begin detailing future steps as if they have already committed to you. The key is to not be pushy to not alienate or scare off the clients.

With buyers: “Since you are already preapproved and have detailed what type of home you are looking for, let’s set up a time to start touring homes together. Will this coming Saturday at 2 p.m. work, or do you prefer Sunday at 1 p.m.?”

With sellers: “Since you want to be on the market in three weeks and we’ve agreed upon the list price, the next step is to have the painter come through and do touch up — which would work better for you — next Monday or Tuesday?”

2. The trial close

In this close, open-ended questions are asked to gauge the potential client’s willingness to proceed. It gives the client an opportunity to raise objections and provides agents with a chance to address potential issues and resolve them on the spot.

With buyers: “Based on our conversation today, how does what we’ve discussed sound to you?”

With sellers: “Based on our conversation, what questions do you have about proceeding?”

3. The empathic close

Most buyers and sellers make their final decisions based on emotions, not logic. Emotions influencing a person to purchase or sell a home are based on feelings of well-being, security, anxiety and even fear.

This close seeks to link the benefits of using you as their real estate agent with their perceived problem. To accomplish this, an agent must demonstrate that they understand their prospective client’s problems and be able to provide meaningful solutions.

The prerequisite is that the agent has spent more time listening than talking and has a good grasp of the client’s emotions accompanying the process of buying or selling. By demonstrating that you understand and validate your prospect’s challenges, you can connect on an emotional level which can help them trust you as their advocate.

With buyers: “I understand the anxiety and fear that comes with a financial decision this large. My wife and I encountered the same feelings buying our first home but have discovered that the long-term benefits of homeownership have brought tremendous security.”

With sellers: “I understand the anxiety and turmoil that comes from selling a home you have lived in for many years — I can imagine the many precious memories created here. I have encountered the same doubts but have also discovered the fulfillment of our dreams as we have relocated to a home that better fits our current needs.”

4. The visual close

For some, especially younger generations who have a significant pushback to classic sales techniques, it is helpful to paint a picture of a better future that aligns with their desires or dreams because of working with you. This approach also leverages emotions instead of just providing them with facts.

With buyers: “Imagine what it will be like doing your income taxes a year from now and writing in the Mortgage Interest Deduction for the first time! What do you think you might do with the refund? Maybe a vacation?”

With sellers: “Imagine next Christmas being able to hop in the car and drive a few minutes to your grandkids’ home instead of spending hours in a crowded airport and on planes!”

5. The hard close

In some cases, the prospective client may seem to have a hard time making up their mind. In this case, asking direct questions that require “yes” or “no” answers may be the way to go. Once they provide the answer, you can then steer them in the right direction. Keep in mind that many object to a hard close, and it may, in fact, alienate them.

With buyers: “Other than your questions about which lender to use, is there anything else you would like to discuss before finalizing our relationship?”

With sellers: “Has anyone else provided you with any benefits of listing with them that you would like to discuss before finalizing our relationship?”

6. The summary close

This closing technique is used near the end of a call and summarizes the benefits of working with you in a clear and simple format. The summary does not include any new facts or details; it simply lists, in a simple and clear way, the things you have discussed to that point

For prospective clients who are talking to several other agents and might be confused by all the data they are receiving, this helps distill everything and connects the dots to you being the most logical choice.

With buyers: “We’ve gone through the critical steps of buying a home, discussed the current market and have your list of preferences. We also seem to be connecting and communicating well. It sounds like partnering together to help you buy your first home is the next logical step.”

With sellers: “We’ve listed the services we provide, have discussed the things you need to do to your home to get it ready for the market, discussed our fees and agreed on a listing price. It sounds like partnering together to help you sell your home is the next logical step.”

7. The scarcity close

This closing technique creates a subtle sense of urgency to encourage the prospective client to actively make a decision. This can also be entitled the “now-or-never” close and leverages a person’s fear of missing out on an opportunity. The key is to be truthful in communicating scarcity; otherwise, you risk being viewed as dishonest.

With buyers: “As you probably know, there is currently a shortage of available homes. Let’s go ahead now and get our agreement docs signed and your loan preapproval completed, so you are ready to act the instant a home you love comes on the market. It would be a shame to find your perfect home and not be ready to act.”

With sellers: “As you know, the market has been quite volatile. Let’s get your home on the market now before prices go any lower. It would be a shame to wait and then discover you’ve lost thousands of dollars because you delayed.”

8. The analytics close

Also known as the Benjamin Franklin close, this approach lists the pros and cons of moving forward. It is best used when working with analytical people. This assumes you are trained in identifying client personalities using tools such as the DISC assessment.

The way you approach any given client differs depending on whether they are predominantly a D, I, S or C. Effective training will help you identify what type of personality you are facing and help you respond accordingly.

With buyers: “I understand you may have some questions about the benefits of working with us to buy your home. Since this represents the most significant financial decision you will be making this year, it’s wise to be diligent in selecting the agent you will be working with.

Let’s make a list of the pros and cons of working with our team.”

With sellers: “I understand you may have some questions about the benefits of working with us to sell your home. Since this represents the most significant financial decision you will be making this year, it’s wise to be diligent in selecting the agent you will be working with.

Let’s make a list of the pros and cons of working with our team.”

9. The objection close

Once you have explained your value proposition to the prospective client and are certain they understand, simply ask them, “Do you have any objections?”

With buyers: “Can you think of any reasons we should not be working together? Should I write up the agreement?”

With sellers: “Can you think of any reasons you should not use our team to list your home for sale? Should I write up the listing agreement?”

10. The sharp angle close

There are times you will encounter prospective clients who want to get certain concessions before they sign. In these cases, the sharp angle close can be used to counter their question with a question of your own that leads to a close.

With buyers: “I understand that you will need a closing credit from a seller to buy down your interest rate. If I can ensure that you get that item written into any offer to purchase that we write, are you willing to sign our agreement today?”

With sellers: “I understand that you are concerned about a one-year listing agreement. If I reduce the listing time period to six months, are you willing to sign our listing agreement today?”

Agents who take the time to sharpen their skills will be the ones who will succeed in 2023. Our recommendation is to take this list of closing scripts, find a partner and start practicing.

The adage “practice makes perfect” definitely applies here — the last thing you want when meeting with a prospective client is to know you have a script to close but cannot remember it because you failed to adequately prepare. Practice, practice, practice — and make 2023 your best year ever.

Carl Medford is CEO of The Medford Team.

10 Tried-And-True Closing Techniques: How to Seal the Deal in 2023
GBAR

Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Darryl Davis

To work with builders, your skill level has to be at the next level. From communication to presentation to organization to marketing — raise the stakes to develop these relationships

One topic that has come up again and again on our weekly coaching calls is “how to work with builders.” That’s a good sign of the times that, hopefully, the new construction side of our industry, which took a big hit during the pandemic, is on the rise. 

According to a recent Forbes article which shared a Redfin report, “A record 29 percent of single-family homes for sale in the third quarter were newly constructed, climbing from 25 percent in the same period last year and 18 percent in 2020, thanks in part to the highest number of new homes finishing construction and entering the market since 2007.” 

I love when agents want to carve out a new niche for their businesses, so I’ve put together six tips for you to connect and partner with builders. 

Do your research 

Before you start looking for a property builder, it’s essential to understand the builder you are considering working with. You need to know what types of properties they specialize in, their reputation in the industry, and how long they have been in business. 

This will give you an idea of which builder is best suited for a partnership, particularly if you enjoy working with a particular style of home or a certain group of people as a niche. 

Start marketing yourself to the builder you want to work with 

The best place to begin marketing yourself to builders is to make a list of the small to medium-sized builders in your area. The reasoning behind networking and marketing to them rather than the large builders is that most of the smaller companies have the disadvantage of having to work on their sites and manage all their projects and are too busy to start thinking about locating land for the next one. 

One of the best ways to impress a builder is to prospect for land for them. Because of their busy schedule, having an agent that can actively bring them land to develop is a plus and a great way to start your collaboration off as a win-win.  

Ask for an audition 

Offer to market one of their models or one of their homes that have been on the market for a while but aren’t getting any takers. Explain that you’d like to use the property as your “audition” so they can see your skills. 

Understand their processes for construction, sales and negotiation 

Every property builder has their own process when it comes to negotiating and closing deals. Knowing what steps are involved in their process will help you plan ahead and discuss a partnership agreement that will ensure everything goes smoothly. 
It’s also important to know who the key people are that you need to contact or be familiar with during the process so you can make sure you are communicating with the people who need to be in the know. 

Put your marketing hat on 

Open Houses, direct mail, door knocking, social media, the works – all need to be in your marketing arsenal to promote the property effectively. Think both old-school and high-tech when you create your plan to market for a builder. They want to see not just a savvy salesperson but a marketing effort that will help to drive buyers to their business. 

Establish clear communication channels 

Real estate is 80 percent learning how to use language to communicate. We use words and phrases to plant seeds, negotiate offers, present a marketing plan, prospect, and every other piece of the real estate puzzle. 

Effective communication is key when it comes to any successful collaboration project or relationship between two parties, so make sure that clear communication channels are established from day one! Regular updates via email or phone calls can help keep everyone on track and ensure that everyone’s needs are being met throughout the process. 

When partnering with a real estate builder, think about what drives them. How can you take their goals and help them not only achieve them but ultimately help them grow their business and their customer base? 

To work with builders, your skill level has to be at your next level. From communication to presentation to organization to marketing — it’s time to raise the stakes to develop these relationships. Dive in. Have fun.

Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars

6 Real Estate Agent Tips For Partnering with New-Home Builders
GBAR
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Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Darryl Davis

Being an expert in your market takes worth, but it's worth it. Make 2023 your opportunity to grow your expertise and your business


In any given market, there are always going to be a few real estate agents who stand out from the rest. These are the agents who seem to always have their finger on the pulse of the market, who always have great listings, and who always seem to sell their properties quickly. What’s their secret? In short, they’ve taken the time to become experts in their market.  

We get it. Becoming an expert, especially for brand-new agents, can feel like an impossible hill to climb, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with eight extraordinary ways to put you on the path to becoming the go-to real estate agent to call in your area.

1. Get to know your market inside and out

One of the best ways to become an expert in your market is to simply know it better than anyone else. Understand the trends, the hot neighborhoods, what type of properties are selling, median home prices, days on market, inventory levels, and more.

The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to answer any questions potential clients may have. Not only that, but you’ll also be able to anticipate their needs and concerns and address them before they even have a chance to ask.  

2. Stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends

The real estate market is ever-changing, which means it’s important that you stay up-to-date on all the latest news and developments.  Reading the local news, signing up for industry newsletters, and attending relevant events and conferences will keep you up to speed on what’s going on in both your local markets as well as the bigger picture.  

This includes things like new construction projects, changes in zoning laws, and anything else that could impact either buyers or sellers in your market. By staying on top of current events, you’ll be able to help your clients make informed decisions about their real estate transaction — and they’ll appreciate having a true expert by their side.  

3. Find your niche

While it’s essential to be knowledgeable about all aspects of the real estate market, it’s also important to find your niche and focus on becoming an expert in that specific area. Does every real estate agent need a niche? No, but there are several reasons why choosing to work with a specific niche can be highly beneficial.

• It allows you to become an expert in a particular rather than trying to be a “jack of all trades” in real estate.
• It allows you to target and market to a specific group (likely with greater success).
• Lastly, it allows you to work with a group of people or a type of real estate that you can be passionate about connecting with.

My mentor when I started in this business was Mac Levitt. Mac knew about all things waterfront property in our area. There was nothing you could ask him about in that arena that he couldn’t answer. As a result, he was highly regarded in our market, and his name become synonymous with waterfront property.

If a consumer – or even an agent from a competing company had a question — everyone knew that Mac was the guy to call. Be like Mac. 

4. Be active online and offline

Nowadays, being an expert isn’t just about knowing your stuff—it’s also about being visible and accessible both online and offline. Maintain an up-to-date website and blog where people can easily find information about you and your business (not to mention local market news and what it means for them). Make sure all of your social media accounts are active and regularly updated as well.

And don’t forget about old-fashioned face-to-face interactions. Focus on having two conversations each day with someone — one buyer and one seller — about real estate and how you can help answer their questions and buy or sell a home. 

5. Get involved in industry groups and associations

While most people cringe at the thought of networking, there is no better way of growing your circle of experts (along with expertise and knowledge) than by getting involved in real estate industry groups and associations. These types of organizations offer lots of great opportunities to meet with other professionals, stay up-to-date on industry news and trends, and participate in training programs. Plus, many of them offer certifications that can further bolster your credentials (and make you look good to your clients!) 

6. Foster relationships with influential people in your market

Along with networking comes meeting influential people in your market. Building relationships with well-connected people and other agents or brokers who are considered thought leaders or even local media members who cover the real estate beat can be advantageous in growing your pool of knowledge — you can tap into their networks and gain valuable insights into what’s happening in your market. 

7. Speak or write about your expertise on a regular basis

Nothing builds your expertise like having to write or speak about it, because the process of organizing our knowledge into something we need to explain to people who know nothing about it helps you to break it down into understandable bites.

Whether you give presentations at local events, write articles for trade publications, or even start a blog or podcast about real estate, sharing what you know establishes your credibility and expertise. You’ll also build name recognition, which can help attract more clients down the road.  

8. Stay humble and curious

No one knows everything there is to know about any given topic, especially complex topics like real estate! So instead of acting like you have all the answers, show that you’re willing to learn by asking questions and being open to new information. Not only will this help you gain a better understanding of your own market, but it will also endear you to others who appreciate your willingness to learn.  

There’s no doubt about it — being an expert in your market takes work  — but it’s worth it! Make the new year ahead your opportunity to grow your expertise and, in turn, your business.  

Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars.

8 Tips For Becoming the Go-To Expert in Your Market
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Article Courtesy of: Banker & Tradesman
By Diane McLaughlin | Banker & Tradesman Staff

The maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase by 12 percent nationally in 2023 and the limit for Greater Boston (Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth, & Suffolk counties) will increase by more than $100,000 to a limit of $828,000.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a statement today that the loan limit for one-unit properties will increase from $647,200 in 2022 to $726,200 in 2023. The FHFA adjusts the conforming loan limit annually to reflect the change in the average U.S. home price, as required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA).

Because of median home values, several counties in Eastern Massachusetts will have higher limits for one-unit properties.
• Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties: $828,000
• Dukes and Nantucket counties: $1,089,300

The seven other Massachusetts counties will be subject to the $726,200 limit.
Almost every U.S. county will see an increase in conforming loan limits in 2023 because of rising home values, the FHFA said.

The baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2023 increased by the same percentage as the FHFA’s estimated housing price increase. Using its third quarter 2022 House Price Index report, the FHFA calculated the increase based on estimates of the average U.S. home value over the last four quarters. According to FHFA’s seasonally adjusted data, house prices increased 12.21 percent between the third quarters of 2021 and 2022.

Greater Boston and the Islands will have higher maximum limits because 115 percent of the local median home value exceeds the baseline limit.

Both Dukes and Nantucket counties will qualify for the maximum limit of $1,089,300 on one-unit properties, up from $970,800 in 2022. HERA limits the maximum conforming loan ceiling to 150 percent of the baseline.

The 2023 conforming loan limit of $828,00 in Essex, Middlesex, Norfolk, Plymouth and Suffolk counties is up from $770,500 in 2022.



Conforming mortgages financed by government-sponsored entities and the FHFA are the most lenient, allowing eligible first-time homebuyers to put down as little as 3 to 5 percent in some cases. Jumbo loans, on the other hand, require borrowers to have higher FICO scores and larger down payments, and also come with asset and reserve requirements.


Greater Boston Conforming Loan Limit Raised to $828K
GBAR

 

Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Bernice Ross

Because many agents wait to change offices until the end of the year, now is prime recruiting time. Take advantage of it with these strategies


You have generated a great recruiting lead for your office or team. Whether you’re a broker-owner, manager, or team leader, your ability to conduct a successful recruiting interview will determine the ultimate success of your office or team. 

A successful recruiting interview depends on how well you have prepared along with your ability to ask the right questions, assess whether the agent is a good fit for your company and to close the agent on moving to your office or team. 

Preparation

Create a job description 

A real estate’s agent job description comes down to six words: “Generate leads, convert leads, close transactions.” Your primary focus during the interview should be assessing the agent’s ability in each of those three areas. (For a more detailed job description at no charge, visit ziprecruiter.com.)

Prior to your interview, research the candidate

Research how many listings the agent has taken in the last 12 months, whether they have a website, as well as searching their various social media accounts and the types of posts they generally make. In addition, search their name plus the word “complaint” and also the word “reviews.
” 
Also be sure to check with your agents. Better to find out early if an agent has a bad temper, is difficult to work with, or any other facts that would make that person a poor hire. 

Have all candidates complete a written job application

Ask about where they went to school, any previous jobs they may have held, as well as where they have worked since they became licensed. Do not ask about age, ethnicity, family status, religion or any other issues that may run afoul of the many antidiscrimination laws governing these areas. 

Ask for 3 references

When I was the acting vice president for Keller Williams University, they required at least three references and that you also went “three deep.” This meant that you ask each person you interview if they can supply the contact information for someone else who would be willing to give the candidate a reference.

The idea was to receive at least one additional (third level) recommendation from the second tier of recommendations. In practice, it can be tough to do, but smart if the position is a key hire for your team or company. No matter what you do, however, be sure to follow up on all three of the first-tier recommendations the candidate gives you. 

Have a trusted member of your staff call the agent to inquire about a listing

This allows you to discover how they treat incoming buyer and seller calls from strangers as well as how quickly they respond to inquiries.

Anyone can bring their ‘A’ game once. Conduct more than one interview

Your first interview will be by phone. This allows you to assess how the agent will sound when they speak with clients.
The second interview should be face-to-face at your office. To make the potential recruit more comfortable, avoid sitting behind a desk — a round table is ideal. 

Interview questions 

The best questions begin with the words “how” or “what.” These two words generate longer, more detailed responses as opposed to asking “who,” “when” or “where,” which generally result in very short answers. Also avoid asking “why” because it puts the other person on the defensive. Other questions to ask include:

• What do you like about your current office?
• How is your firm investing in your success? 
• What’s missing from your perspective?
• What three tools does your company provide that you feel you can’t do business without? 
• If you were going to recommend that an agent join a brokerage other than your own, what about that company would cause you to recommend them? 

When it comes to changing offices or companies, the questions above help you identify what matters most to the agent you’re interviewing. Pay special attention to the “what’s missing question.” If you offer a service, product, or technology their current office doesn’t offer, you can use this benefit as a pain point to help you close the agent later in the interview.

Also be curious and “dig deeper.” To do that say, “Tell me more about that” or ask them for more information. For example, if their current office offers something you do not offer, ask them to explain what they like about it and how they use it in their business. 

Be sure to do this

Take notes on what they say. This shows that you are so interested in them and what they’re saying that you took the trouble to write it down. You will also be able to reference these notes when you’re ready to close them on joining your team or company. 

Ask experiential questions that explore the agent’s skill set

These next four questions allow you to assess how well the agent handles routine business challenges. It would be worthwhile to ask the following questions. 

• Tell me about your current production, including what’s working and where you could use some help. 
• If I were to refer a listing lead to you, how would you market it? 
• One of our agents had a problem in a transaction with XYZ. How would you have handled it?
• One of your listings is about to expire. What will you do to make sure your clients relist with you?

When you spot an issue, ask yourself whether this is an issue that can be addressed through training or by some other means or is it a deal breaker.

To close or not to close?

If you realize that a candidate is not a good fit, point out something they like or they deem necessary at their current company that your company or team does not offer. Next say, 

You said that XYZ was very important to your business, and we don’t offer that product/service. Thank you for taking the time to come in and interview with me. I very much appreciate it!

If you believe the agent is a good fit for your office, close on what they said is most important to them when you make your offer. In terms of solutions or benefits your company provides, show them how these tools or systems can help them overcome the challenges they’re facing.

Again, the groundwork you laid by writing down what the agent said earlier in the interview is critical to closing them.   

Following up after the interview

• Send every agent that you interview a handwritten thank you note.  
• If the agent is still unsure about joining your team or office, invite the agent back for a 1:1 coaching session with you, your office trainer or coach.
• You could also invite them to an educational event at your office.
• A third option is to have one of your agents arrange to have coffee with the agent and answer any questions they may have about joining your company.

Since many agents wait to change offices until the end of the year, now is prime recruiting time. Take advantage of it!

Bernice Ross, president and CEO of BrokerageUP and RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, author and trainer with more than 1,000 published articles. Learn about her broker/manager training programs designed for women, by women, at BrokerageUp.com and her new agent sales training at RealEstateCoach.com/newagent.

Recruit Better Agents With This 15-Step Plan For Vetting Top Talent
GBAR
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Olivia Sundstrom for Real Geeks
 
Uncertainty in the market has a tendency to make people freeze. After all, a real estate transaction is a financial decision that can give some buyers and sellers cold feet.

Seasoned real estate agents must know how to hold the proper conversations with their leads to move them toward taking action, or at the very least, keep their leads engaged long-term.

After consulting industry leaders who have been through many market fluctuations, we at Real Geeks have compiled a guide on increasing your lead engagement, keeping your pipeline engaged for the long haul and scaling your real estate business successfully through a market shift.

Don’t be afraid to get real

You’re the real estate expert. You are the one that can provide your seller leads with the guidance and insight that can help them make the right decisions. Some of them may be reluctant to believe that a property they have invested in isn’t as lucrative as they hoped it would be. Your job as a real estate agent is to provide insight into how your leads can bring their property up to the market competition.

Regarding buyer leads, it is up to you to convey the real stakes as well as what could happen if they don’t opt into the market when it is affordable.

Interest rates can be refinanced

High-interest rates can intimidate buyers. However, the truth is that interest rates can often be refinanced.

Talk about inventory

Depending on your regional market, there could be a shortage of inventory, a backlog of pending inventory, or an abundance of inventory.

This is your opportunity to own your relationship with your leads and come to them as an expert regarding what is going on in their regional market.

This will establish authority and trust amongst your leads and will secure you a spot as a trusted real estate professional when the time is right for them to take action.

Don’t be too pushy

In a shifting market, buyers and sellers can be on edge — more so than they typically would be when buying or selling property.

Therefore, you want to be empathetic and careful with your messaging.

It is important that you do not come across as too emotional or aggressive when you are informing your lead on their regional market.

Experts know how to offer their knowledge sincerely.

It’s not about making a sale immediately

Getting a lead off the fence doesn’t always mean closing a sale. It is about keeping them engaged and helping them achieve their goals over time.

Did you advance the ball today? Are you taking a proactive role in engaging your leads with current information about their regional market?

Work smarter, not harder

Engaging a multitude of leads over time can begin to take up a lot of mental overhead fast. Using a CRM reduces the mental overhead while organizing all of your long-term leads, as well as, keeping your leads on drip campaigns with market reports that suit their interests. You can cater to various workflows towards educating them on their current market conditions.

Closing a deal is a series of small advances. You must be patient.
How to Increase Lead Engagement in 2023
GBAR

 

Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Stuart Siegel 

Regardless of the market, a strategic approach to growth is necessary to sustain a real estate business long-term


Following the hottest market in decades, U.S. real estate appears to be normalizing in some markets and cooling in others as we enter the last months of 2022. During these times of market variability, planning for brokerage growth can be challenging. When the market is on fire — as it was in 2020, 2021 and early 2022 — it can be tempting to ride the wave, growing as big as possible and as fast as possible.

Conversely, during times of economic uncertainty, it can feel imprudent to invest in expansion efforts. However, regardless of the market, a strategic approach to growth is necessary to sustain a business long term. Here are three considerations for all brokerage leaders as they approach their growth strategy:

Find the opportunity in every market

Inflation rates reached a four-decade high earlier this year, and remain elevated at 8.5 percent. Economists agree that we are headed toward a recession; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to hit pause on growth efforts. When others are hesitant, leaning into this type of opportunistic market can yield growth at a lower cost of investment.

Downsizing or layoffs by a competitor present an opportunity to recruit talent in the market and increase support for your real estate professionals. When others may be giving up office space or delaying on signing leases, the chance for a deal on a new office space in a prime location may present itself.

There is opportunity in every market. Strategic choices to invest when others are pulling back can pay off in the future; however, the ability to make these investments hinges on building reserves and sticking to your growth strategy when business is booming. 

Determine the sweet spot for your business and pursue it relentlessly

Success looks different for every real estate business, and the biggest or fastest-growing doesn’t necessarily mean best. Being the top brokerage in your market in terms of size means nothing if your office is a revolving door of agents ever in pursuit of a higher split. Growing beyond your ability to best service clients and creating a culture of burnout is also not conducive to long term success. 

Rather than focusing on size as the measure of successful growth, a more sustainable approach is determining the sweet spot of what success looks like for your business and creating an expansion strategy supporting that vision. This could mean achieving the highest average commission of real estate professionals in your market, being number one in terms of productivity, zero percent agent turnover or building a team of only full time real estate professionals.

These goals tend to be longer term and as such, lead to more steady, sustainable growth over time. What’s important is adhering to your goals, having a vision that dictates which growth decisions are right for your business, and more strategically taking advantage of market opportunities as they arise.

Retain company culture during growth

Maintaining culture during growth is a delicate balance, and sacrificing culture in the name of quick growth or hiring one “superstar agent” rarely ends well. A much more sustainable path to long-term growth involves a people-first approach. Build your business around the people who most exemplify your brokerage values and can help to achieve your ultimate vision.

In fact, across our network, we’ve found that prioritizing a culture fit within Engel & Völkers’ brand values when recruiting often correlates with better performance and longer, more mutually beneficial relationships. This is the difference between a brokerage “buying” agents versus agents buying into a brand and culture they want to be a part of and with which they would like to grow. 

Retention efforts are also key to retaining culture during periods of growth. Keeping your team engaged, feeling fulfilled, and productive is an ongoing effort, but happy agents will often do the best recruiting by spreading the word to like-minded peers.

Brokerage leaders should view retention efforts as a continuous cycle of re-recruiting current agents. Check in with your team regularly, see where leadership can be providing support or helping to troubleshoot, and perhaps most importantly, celebrate the wins, both big and small, to encourage the drive to keep getting better.  

Growth and longevity are likely goals for every real estate brokerage, but finding the balance in achieving both will look different for every business. Take the time to define your ultimate vision of success. This will help guide strategic growth decisions through any market conditions and help you find and take advantage of the opportunities that exist in every type of market.

During times of growth, don’t let the culture that’s gotten your business this far fall by the wayside. Fiercely protect your ethos and the agents that embody your brand values. While certainly a balancing act, prioritizing these elements can help to propel your business to new levels.  

Stuart Siegel serves as Chief Strategy Officer for Engel & Völkers Americas.
Expanding Your Brokerage: 3 Tips For Sustainable Growth
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