This week, our readers chime in with their thoughts on the biggest obstacles and hurdles independent brokerages should be preparing for going into 2021. Here’s what you had to say.

It’s never been a more interesting or exacting time to be an indie broker. In November, Inman celebrates the indie by narrowing in on what growth tactics are working best and what tech is emerging that offers the best competitive advantage.

Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

Last week, we turned to our readers to ask: What will this next year bring? More specifically, we wanted to know what sort of challenges indie brokers should be rolling up their sleeves and gearing up for.

Among your answers, we found mentions of more talked-about, overarching obstacles — think: COVID-19 — the weight of which we all felt this year. But we also got a glimpse of other factors that indie brokers are dealing with, like, difficulty hiring admin staff and talent. So, without further ado, here’s everything you had to say:

  • Name recognition.
  • COVID-19.
  • Funded brokerages buying/stealing agents.
  • Lack of inventory.
  • Being outbid for talent by national brands with large rerouting bonuses, even if they aren’t a better place for that agent to work.
  • Staying connected in an environment with no in-person events.
  • Zillow.
  • None that I know of, as long as the market stays positive. It’s generally when the market detracts that indies fade.
  • I could write a whole column about my difficulty in hiring admin staff these past few years — and it only got worse with the pandemic. I offer competitive pay. (Yes, I checked with our chamber of commerce and the local jobs placement services for wage data.) It’s not an overly difficult job, but I struggle regularly to fill the front desk position. With the pandemic, it got harder as people who were qualified suddenly have major child care issues due to schools going virtual, and at least in the beginning of the pandemic, they were making more on unemployment than really working. I have hired multiple VAs (and that’s working great for me), but I don’t have a front desk person. Maybe I don’t need one. In 2021, I see filling admin spaces still a challenge, but plan on using VAs as much as I can.
  • Interviewing and onboarding fast enough. There is so much talent coming into our industry as a result of the pandemic, and it’s really tough to say no to these awesome new agents who got furloughed or laid off! We’ve grown our mentor program, and we’re getting them up and running as fast as we can. The biggest challenge, though, which is not just an indie challenge, is low inventory.

What did we miss? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Editor’s note: These responses were given anonymously and, therefore, are not attributed to anyone specifically. Responses were also edited for grammar and clarity. Inman doesn’t endorse any specific method and regulations may vary from state to state. 

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