Brokerage

4 things you need to know about running a modern brokerage

Leaders from Denver’s top real estate brokerages weigh in on running a successful operation in a red-hot housing market
  • Emotional, targeted content builds lasting relationships with clients and prospects.
  • Recruit agents who know how to build a successful pipeline and referral resources.
  • When adopting a new technology, use a checklist to ensure it fits your brand and goals.

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Denver has been the poster child for the nation’s red-hot real estate market for the past several years. With its population growing more than 10 percent in the past six years — and projections suggesting this trend will continue — demand for housing is not going to let up any time soon.

Although this growth has certainly presented a lot of opportunity for professionals in the real estate industry, it has also produced its own unique set of complex nuances.

4 tips for running a successful brokerage

I engage constantly with highly successful brokerages in one of America’s top real estate markets, and I wanted to find out what it takes to run a prosperous business in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Here are the top tips.

1. Share content that emotionally connects with your targeted audience

According to Heather Heuer, vice president and managing broker of PorchLight Real Estate Group, it’s not enough to simply share topical content. Rather, you have to know your target audience and connect with them emotionally.

For example, if you can show a homebuyer or seller how a specific neighborhood has tracked in value over the past three years, they would find that much more relevant than a promotional video about your recent sales.

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If you only send out marketing that reflects yourself and your results, you are not hitting the emotions of your target audience, and they might decide to use someone else with whom they feel connected on a personal level.

2. Recruit and retain seasoned real estate professionals

In a city like Denver, everyone wants a piece of the booming real estate market. That means brokerages have to be more selective in recruiting and retaining talented real estate agents.

It is important to look for agents who not only have a proven track record in real estate but also bring an impressive network of clients with them.

Heuer adds that the current market can be brutal for anyone who has not taken the steps to build a successful pipeline and referral resources.

In terms of retention, it’s critical that brokerages have the bandwidth to effectively support their agents — including business coaching, strategic planning and cultivating a company culture that promotes work-life balance.

3. Take off faster with teams

Encourage and support your office to form teams. It’s a great way to integrate and educate newer agents.

Tess Scalise, president of Re/Max of Cherry Creek, finds tremendous value in encouraging agents to join a team and learn from someone who has been there and done that.

She advises that before you commit to a team, it’s crucial before you commit to check its reputation online and make sure that it has established systems, a target and a book of business that is relative to what your goals are.

4. Adopt technology that aligns with your goals

Technology is an increasingly critical part of the real estate industry, and it’s imperative to carefully choose and test the tools that fit your business while keeping in mind not to spread your capabilities too thin.

Ultimately, it is best to listen to your agents and determine what they find most valuable.

Justin Knoll, president of Madison and Company Properties, shared that his biggest challenge is keeping agents engaged, energized and focused in a market that quickly wears down most producing agents.

His solution is to create and maintain fresh messaging and roll out new initiatives only when they are ready for full adoption.

According to Knoll, when rolling out a new technology, it has to be easy to use, easy to set up, a revenue driver and it must create time for agents.

There are plenty of new gadgets and apps that don’t deliver on those, so he cautions to test them rigorously and ensure that the product fits your needs and capabilities.

An agent mindset shift leads to a new value proposition

The role of a real estate agent is adapting. Agents are no longer the gatekeepers of the information. This is a great opportunity to redefine the true value of an agent.

According to Shannel Ryan, senior vice president and managing broker at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty, the mindset around the real estate agent as an adviser has changed.

She mentioned that there really is much more to it than driving someone around and showing them homes or sticking a sign in somebody’s yard. It’s a consultative process.

There’s only a certain amount of work that is done between when you first meet and go under contract. But there’s a lot of work between under contract and close. The industry is very focused on that value proposition.

Although there are several components to running a modern, adaptable real estate brokerage, having a targeted marketing strategy, recruiting and retaining talented real estate agents, knowing which technologies to employ and which ones to avoid, enhancing your value proposition and exploring the team concept are great ways to map out your strategy and ensure that your company thrives in any market.

What are your top tips? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Ann Turner is the chief executive officer at the Denver Metro Association of Realtors (DMAR). You can follow DMAR on Twitter at @DMARealtors.

Email Ann Turner.