A real estate agent is in the business to help consumers buy and sell real estate, right? The question seems obvious – if not rhetorical. But if your focus right now isn’t on growing your business by increasing productivity and expanding your sphere, maybe it’s time to reprioritize how you operate and reassess what you hope to achieve in the coming months.
Putting the customer first
Focus on creating successful transactions will benefit two parties the most: you and your customers.
“The consumer suffers when an agent’s focus is not on the consumer,” says Jay Pitts, owner of RE/MAX Premier Properties in Louisville, Kentucky.
“COVID-19 still has a very real impact on the housing market and we have extremely short inventory. We have challenges ahead of us, so agents need to be focused on the consumer – not on their downline or the idea of [stock options]. Realistically, agents need to be focused on what they can do each day to make a living,” Pitts says.
The best way to benefit your business in both the short and long term is by having a track record of successful closings.
If you’re a full-time real estate professional, then placing emphasis on helping consumers buy and sell is what continually improves your recognition and reputation as the premier local housing expert.
“Your reputation is everything,” says Owen Poveda, an agent with RE/MAX Preferred Properties in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Knowing this, incentive should be placed on reputation-building by setting incremental goals to help more buyers and sellers. Ninety days is typically a recommended timeframe to work toward a goal, evaluate progress and make changes going forward.
“Transactions are what put food on my table. [They] are what build my sphere and my referrals,” Poveda explains.
Aligning with top producers
Poveda recognizes that one key aspect to upping transactions is being with a brokerage where the values align with your goals, and where the broker cares about the well-being and success of their existing agents.
“In some instances, these companies who are only focused on recruiting have one broker that handles a huge geographic area,” Poveda explains. “I’ve heard stories from agents where occasionally if they have a question, it can be days before they get their question answered by their broker. And that’s just not a scenario that I could ever deal with.”
In addition to its broker, a brokerage’s culture is defined by the diligence of the agents who work there.
“Look at the agents who are in those offices [without a large broker presence]. Are those agents serious, producing agents, or are they hanging around the water cooler all day bellyaching about the market? The whole thing that attracted me to RE/MAX was perception – that RE/MAX agents are top-producing agents,” Poveda shares.
Providing support – and professionalism
Especially now, it’s imperative to remember the humanity that grounds the real estate profession. Real estate agents build community, support their neighbors, and help families turn houses into homes.
“I think it’s important that we go back and connect with our sphere of people we have sold to in the past and those that we’ve just met as acquaintances. Maybe they aren’t ready to buy or sell, but we can’t forget about them,” says Donna Deaton, Realtor and Managing Vice President of RE/MAX Victory + Affiliates in Liberty Township, Ohio.
“I’ve been reaching out to my sphere once a month. I’m not necessarily [talking to] them about real estate, but more just saying hello, asking them how they’re doing and how they’re dealing with life during COVID-19,” she says.
In real estate, there is no professionalism without genuine human connection. Checking in with your network shows care and compassion – and positions you to be a trusted source when contacts do decide to move in the future.
At the end of the day, the best way to find success in the real estate industry is simple – help people buy and sell homes.
“I always tell people that when you focus on the consumer, when you focus on service and when you focus on being the best at your craft, the [rest] takes care of itself,” Pitts says.