How to keep your small real estate brokerage thriving while competing against the giants
Guest Blog by Ted J. Williams, a realtor in Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR.
As I’m writing this today, I’m a small independent brokerage that has offices in Vancouver, Wa and Portland, Or. We in the great states of Oregon/Washington can be a dual broker if you own your own company. This allows us to employ agents from both designated areas within these cities and allows us to service clients from these various areas to keep 90+% of our business in-house. This process keeps us competitive with the major players in these areas and keeps my small brokerage thriving. My motto is “My Agents come 1st”!
1) Hire Productive/Efficient agents!
I like to work with people that are fun, energetic, passionate, organized, coachable, and love to
serve people. Todays new agent must like people! In today’s real estate market its all about the value of the information that you can provide to your clients. We now have to adapt to the way people like to be communicated too via social media and text marketing. I train my agents to run their business from an IPad or Tablet in order for them to take accurate notes, do a listing presentation, write-up offers, have clients sign documents, and do CMA’s all while they are with the client. Agents must be personable and approachable and easy to talk too. We no longer can put a customer on hold and wait until we get back to the office to write-up everything. Organization and efficiency is the key!
2) Acquire low-cost commercial space
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to help many clients and many business owners in a number of ways whether it be personal consultation or business advice. I have learned to go into every relationship with the thought of “How can I serve and How can I help everyone I come into contact with in a non- judgmental way?
Don’t take any relationship for granted. Commercial real estate is the next waive of foreclosures to happen. Commercial landlords just want a tenant to pay rent. Reach out to all the commercial landlords you know to secure a low rent option for your brokerage. That is precisely what I did to secure a 2000 square foot all utilities paid office for my real estate company at a low monthly rate.
3) Have systems in place and a process to support your systems
One of the most important things a small brokerage must have is a simple system in place and a process that all your agents can follow. This is the one thing that attracts those quality agents that you want working for you. In my brokerage, I have partnered with several companies that I believe give me the best systems to offer to my agents. The following companies are
Click here http://www.byreferralonly.com with Joe Stump – This system has everything you need if you want to learn how to build your business by referral only. This is awesome and all my agents love it.
www.clarity.com with Dale Thompson – For Real Estate agents Clarity starts with Homes by Clarity. Homes by Clarity is a marketing website created for each agent designed to market that agents listings through search engine optimization and strategic placement of ads. It provides tools to the agent to track borrowers searching for homes and provides the code for agents to place their own ads. The primary function is to create leads. This is free system!
Click here http://www.coffeewithkrisstina.com – This is a system that trains all my agents on how to be a paperless agent on the IPad or Tablet. This is the one that shows all my agents the MONEY! The cost is minimal and the return is extremely high and the agents are serving clients, making money and having fun. This is what it’s all about in this industry!
DocuSign + Cartavi – In an effort to have all your agents going paperless, you must have an electronically signing system and a document management system that’s safe, secure and easy to use. This is the piece of the puzzles that brings home the bacon! This is a mandatory thing that all your agents should use in there business.
Click here http://www.5linx.net/teamwilliamsinc – By adding 5linx to my business, it has allowed my brokerage to offer our clients a number of additional cost saving services. These services help our clients save money on their monthly bills. It’s great to pass on these cost savings to clients!
4) Training & Support for Agent’s
This has to be the back bone of your business! Each of the systems that I have in place provides training and support for every aspect of what your agents need to learn in order to effectively run they’re business efficiently
5) Expand and diversify your business
In this new real estate environment we can no longer depend on old school Real Estate processes to survive in this industry. You must hire and train agents who specialize in a certain area of the business so you can expand your services to your clients. Today agents need to become familiar with these different real estate processes:
HUD Home process
I encourage each of my agents to go through these processes at least once to determine if this is an area that they would like to focus on. This is another area that can keep you business thriving as a small brokerage.
6) Have a knowledgeable Loan Officer sit in your office
This has helped my brokerage and my agents obtain additional business. The agents get trained on various areas from the lending side to keep everyone up to speed on all the programs, rates, and all the changes that happens on a daily basis. This also allows us to offer an additional service to our clients so they feel comfortable with a “One Stop Shop” experience. All our agents love having direct access to a loan officer with experience in the industry to give them the correct information about a transaction so they can close deals.
7) Partner up with a knowledgeable Tax consultant! Click herehttp://www.candctaxes.com
Create a life-long relationship with this person as they will keep you and your business thriving for a long time. My tax person is the best at what he does and I consider him a true friend and someone I hangout with after work. Great relationship keep you happier and healthier.
8) Create great relationships with a seasoned Real Estate Attorney
This is essential to keep you on the right side of the law. This person will keep you in business for many years to come.
9) You must have E&O Insurance
To compete in this industry all asset managers require you to have e & o insurance. This will protect your business and your agents.
You can reach Ted via his website www.realestatebyted.com, telephone at (360)910-0317 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org