Jack Welch, the former head of General Electric, has said, “The role of business is to get and keep customers.”
I like that quote for a couple of reasons: one, it’s as true as statements come; and two, it’s simple. Yet, when you consider the “how” of getting and keeping customers, things can get complicated.
That’s why I’ve decided to add a new program to my company designed specifically for brokers interested in taking their operations to a new – and much more profitable – level. I’ve said many, many times that brokers need to run their offices like a business. That’s precisely what this new program, called Broker Profitability: Building a Real Estate Empire, is all about. Stan Bishop, one of the most successful brokers in Florida, will be running the program for me. Last year, the Jacksonville Business Journal named his brokerage the sixth fastest growing company in the city.
Bishop will run the program by offering a series of coaching calls over several months that will help brokers recruit the best agents, retain those agents, produce more revenue streams, create proven auto-pilot systems and much more.
To give you a better picture of what the Broker Profitability will entail, I asked Stan to share some of the more practical tips you can start using today:
1. Think of your brokerage as a partnership – Consider who your customer is. Here’s a hint: the average buyer or seller only does one deal every 10 years, while the agent is hopefully doing 10 or more deals each year. When you treat your agents as customers, good things happen.
2. Arrange for your brokerage to eat its own cooking – By this I mean put yourself and your company on the line. Realize that agents and staff have a vested interest in the success of your company. Make it easy for your agents to get residuals to increase their devotion.
3. Reward proportional to performance – Base your income and payouts on the company’s net. Base your agents’ and administrative staff’s income and bonuses on their personal contributions and company performance.
4. Measure success through progress – Realize that the only sensible way to measure success is through the progress of prior months, years and budgets. Determine acceptable annual net profit increases, budget for market changes and base your forecasts on external market conditions such as elections or interest rates.
5. Develop a strategy for success – Your Plan A should focus on growth by recruiting and retaining the best agents and generating new business. Your Plan B should look at reducing overhead.
6. Admit your weaknesses – Be careful not to operate in a vacuum with your own ideas and perceptions and find someone who can give you honest feedback about everything – business strategies, communication skills, financials, etc. such as a coach or an attorney.
7. Trust and empower your employees – Build a sustainable system and a network to help you retain trustworthy professional agents who fit into your bigger picture and company culture.
8. Only do things as if they were going to be publicized – Measure actions of staff and agents against a public backdrop. All your actions and the actions of all involved in your company influence your business image and reputation. Set minimum standards for yourself and employees.
Bishop welcomes your thoughts, comments and questions about this article or the new program, or both; feel free to email him at [email protected] Let us know what you’re doing to boost your company’s profitability, and let us know if these tips worked for you.
Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (CorcoranCoaching.com, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.