At a time when agents are cleaning out garages, organizing CRMs and sprucing up their online presence, they are also paying closer attention to their businesses. Many agents may be wondering: Is this the time to make a change in my brokerage?
And unlike the norm, their decisions are not heavily influenced by split or fee questions. Rather, agents want to know how to turn the corner into the new normal and increase their production in a market that is shifting rapidly. The real estate industry has been disrupted by new technological “solutions” in traditional transactions, informed and sophisticated clients who demand more skilled professionals and now a global pandemic.
It’s a great time to think about making a change, but to make a meaningless change would be a terrible mistake. Agents need to look before they leap, and they should start by looking inward at their businesses and themselves.
Here are three steps that every agent should take before making the decision to move to another brokerage.
Step 1: Take stock of your business
Be honest with yourself, and look at your business in five key areas for the future:
- Production: Is your sales volume currently at a level that will reach your goals for 2020? Do not use the pandemic as an excuse. There is no reason for you not to be able to reach your goals if you have the tenacity, support and resources required.
- Pipeline: Do you have a full pipeline of A-plus buyers and sellers? I do not mean a list of “prospects or leads.” You need A-plus buyers and sellers ready to purchase or list in the next 90 days.
- Lead generation: Are you prospecting daily? Yes, I said “daily.” That’s what is required to excel in the face of a pandemic, a shifting market and a new normal.
- Training: Have you completed market relevant training in the past 15 days? Yes, 15 days because the market has shifted at least four times in the midst of the quarantine, and using old protocols and old tactics won’t make headway in this or the future market. Agents need to up their knowledge, expertise and understanding to excel in the next market. If you’ve been in business for less than 10 years, then you haven’t even sold in a buyer’s market, so you better get trained on the differences, as they are significant as the market shifts.
- Tech: Are you comfortable using video technology, social media and website/CRM technology? Notice I am not discussing virtual reality or bitcoin or anything outside of the most basic technology needed for a vibrant real estate business. Many agents want to hide under the comfy blanket of technology by trying a new gadget, software, app or system every week, but it’s ineffective and won’t improve your business. Keep it simple, and master the basic technology tools.
Step 2: Can you improve?
Be honest: Are you ready to admit that you need massive improvement in certain areas? You do — we all do.
Master the areas that you know well, and find the fissures in your performance. Identify the resources, and support that are critical for you to address areas of weakness.
For example, if you are not sure what to say when a client says, “I want to buy, but I am afraid of the coronavirus threat and the economy,” you need dialogue practice. And if you need it with respect to one specific question, you probably need to practice in a wide variety of areas.
What resources and support do you need to address this weakness? Coaching, a collegiate environment where you have friendly professionals that you can practice with, training, a mentor or top producer to observe. Look at all areas where you can improve, and write out what they are so that you are clear on what you want and need in a new brokerage.
Step 3: Are you courageous?
This is a hard one. We all want to say we are courageous, and in some instances, we all probably are, but are you courageous in your business?
Making a change to a new brokerage is an intimidating business decision, unless you are fed up with your current brokerage. Many business professionals wait until they are unhappy to make a change. While I know it is counterintuitive to consider a change when you are happy or like your broker, the question is not “Do you like your broker?” The question is: “Are you happy with your business?” And “Do you like your business outcome in 2020?”
Looking inward with honesty takes courage, and climbing out of your comfort zone takes courage and commitment.
What do you think? Should you make a change?
Teresa Mack is the co-founder and manager of Pacific Playa Realty in Los Angeles, California. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.