In this column, Anthony Askowitz explores a hypothetical real estate situation from both sides of the broker/agent dynamic. This month: A veteran agent has had her best production year ever, and she wants to ensure the momentum continues. What can her broker do to help get her to the next level?

In this monthly column, Anthony Askowitz explores a hypothetical Miami real estate situation from both sides of the broker/agent dynamic.

A veteran agent just had her best production and sales year ever, and she wants to ensure growth and momentum in the years to come. What can her broker do to motivate and support her ascension into the “next level?”

Agent perspective

What a year! Athletes often describe being “in the zone”; that fleeting sensation that comes when every move, shot or decision is the perfect one, and that’s exactly how I felt selling homes in 2019.

Despite a soft residential market, everything fell into place for me over the past 12 months, producing record sales numbers across the board. I seemed to get every big listing I wanted, worked every strategy and tactic I’ve picked up over the past few years, found eager buyers and investors reasonably quickly, and closed every deal like butter.

While I’m certainly pleased with this success, there will be no resting on laurels for me. I want to make sure I sustain and increase this production every year. But how? If I’m being completely honest, I have to say that some of this year’s success was based on luck and timing, and you just can’t rely on that.

So, in what is still a challenging market, do I simply stay the course and repeat what worked well in 2019? Or should I slam on the gas and push myself to the next level?

Broker perspective

I’m impressed that this agent recognizes the potential for future growth. Many agents see the road to success as only one hard climb to a plateau. At that point, they believe they’ve reached the peak, when in reality it is just a landing place on the climb up to even greater successes.

This is the time to evaluate exactly what worked for her. She may think it had a lot to do with timing and luck, but in reality, that is seldom the case.

Attitude is a critical component, as is the willingness to be open to learning and taking a risk with new ideas — exploring the constantly evolving technological landscape for more efficient and effective ways to reach new heights. What she saw as her full potential last year is really just the first step to where she can actually go!

One of the best lessons my father taught me as a child was: “When you are winning, you do not walk away from the table – you double down.”

This advice has served me well in Blackjack, real estate, business, and beyond and it is what I recommend to this agent. Ride that incredible wave, bet on yourself, and invest those nice profits and commissions into your business.

It all starts with goal setting, which is what I also do as a broker. I would advise her to list and prioritize 10 very specific, measurable, and ambitious goals for 2020, then derive a plan of action accordingly.

Is her top priority/goal to increase listing opportunities? That will require name recognition and investment in Google and social media ads, post cards, and search engine optimization for her web site. If better efficiency and production is the top goal, then she’ll need to hire more people and purchase the right technology.

Does she focus on bigger and higher priced listings? She should consider an outlay for a new image — marketing, photography, wardrobe, business cards, and time to network accordingly.

Whatever the case, the agent will need to be prepared to invest money, time, and attention to achieve her lofty (yet achievable) goals. However, unlike investments in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds, an investment in one’s self puts them in total control.

How to resolve

Agents in slow markets (and a dramatically shifting real estate industry) may have legitimate concerns about making major investments, even to support their own goals.

Brokers should be ready to encourage and enlighten them with case studies of other agents who thrived during unpredictable times, and positioned themselves well for sustained excellence regardless of market conditions.

Anthony is the broker-owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty in South Miami and Kendall, where he leads the activities of more than 165 agents. He is also a working agent who consistently sells more than 100 homes a year. For two consecutive years (2018 and 2019), Anthony has been honored as the “Managing Broker of the Year” by Miami Agent Magazine’s Agents’ Choice Awards. NOTE: Anthony is not an attorney and does not give legal advice. Please consult a licensed attorney regarding matters discussed in this column.

Are you ready for what the industry holds in 2020? Inman Connect New York is your key to unlocking opportunity in a changing market. At Connect you will gain insight into the future, discover new strategies and network with real estate’s best and brightest to accelerate your business. Create your 2020 success story at Inman Connect New York, January 28-31, 2019.

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