Brokers, were you taking notes at last week’s ICNY? Catch up with these five can’t-miss takeaways that could be just the boost your brokerage needs to launch into summer at full speed.
Agents and teams have bold requests for change from their current leadership — and they are not taking no for an answer. From encouraging women to take on stronger leadership roles to managing teams, working on your profit and loss, and improving agent retention, this summer’s hot item is helping your brokerage make it through this scorching market with energy to burn.
Every American household is sharpening their pencils to rework their budgets, and your brokerage is no exception. This expert panel zeroed in on how to determine if team members are a drain or a boost to your budget and tackled tough issues that many brokers struggle with.
“You don’t want to be spending $5,000 to get an agent that is only going to make you $500 per year,” said Thomas Heimann, founder and CEO of Realty Partners.
The panel asked big questions like: How exactly do you know who at the company is most productive? What if the agent closing the most deals is also costing the most for leads? What do you do if a lower producer is also operating more leanly? If you are reworking your agent expenses plan, this one is a must-read.
Hot Tip: Take a close look at your budget (ignoring it and your team can magnify major issues), weigh the pros and cons, and review fee structures to make sure they are competitive and fair.
A big theme throughout ICNY was mentorship. Many agents want to be the brokers that hire them and this expert panel focused on what agents really want from their brokerage.
“Agents want to be entrepreneurs — they want to build something,” said Ryan Raveis of William Raveis Real Estate, who serves as co-president at his company. “If you’re looking to expand your value as a brokerage, yes, provide the services. But provide the support, and the emotional support also.”
The panel discussed ways that brokers can treat their agents like partners and foster long-term career goals and incentives for team members. Agents crave more strategic relationships with their leadership and want to work with brokers who want to build a future with them.
Hot Tip: If you have not already created a “Fast-track to become a broker” program for your team, now is the time!
Agents want more competitive team structures and better flexibility to grow their vision and brand under their broker’s supervision. The panel debated the pros and cons of helping teams find success, and how to make sure individual agents who remained “team free” didn’t get lost in the shuffle.
Panelist Gary Ashton of RE/MAX said that once his brokerage started to grow quickly, he decided to establish a team within the brokerage, made up of all its members so that he was both broker/owner and team leader. “I’m a teamerage,” he explained.
Cindy Ariosa of Long and Foster noted that over the years, her franchise developed an awards program that includes awards for both teams and individual agents so that individuals would feel like their efforts for the company were still being recognized and rewarded.
Hot Tip: Review your team structures to make sure they are competitive, and create equitable incentives and recognition in your office for large teams and individuals.
Many agents are attracted to the less corporate and informal branding that indie brokerages offer. As more agents join the ranks of independent brands, many of these boutiques have seen a boost in growth over the past few years.
The narrative of indie meaning small is especially outdated now that there are huge brokerages operating in multiple states that are technically independent, such as Fathom Realty at approximately 9,000 agents. This panel focused on the growing need for a new category in between franchise and independent that’s emerging.
Hot Tip: If your indie brokerage has seen significant growth in the past few years it may be time to look at some more formal options for investment to grow your brand. Don’t rule out the corporate perks. They may just be a recruiting tool.
Brokers often struggle with the daily business of delegation and it can blur the line between work/life balance (and personal sanity) for many overwhelmed leaders.
During one ICNY session called “The Power of Delegation,” WomanUP! Executive Consultant and Chief Strategist Debra Trappen moderated a panel that featured Nikki Beauchamp, a broker at Engel & Völkers; Barb Hindle, chief brokerage officer at Radius Agent; and Bernadette Cole, regional owner at EXIT Realty Virginia.
This panel dived deep into their methods of using delegation to create time and space away from the office and how this generated opportunities for job growth in their brokerages.
Hot Tip: If your instinct is to do everything yourself then you are not delegating enough. Build new infrastructure with trusted team members to share the wealth of responsibility and build a mentorship program at the same time.
Change to sustain and gain
The weight of doing right by the people who choose to work for your brokerage is a heavy burden on brokers’ shoulders. Remember that there are challenges for each member of your team and that strong leadership can sometimes mean allowing yourself to be vulnerable, or that you need to change long-standing policy.
Lean into the changes and challenges instead of fighting against them. Survey your team for what changes they would personally like to see or need right now. You don’t have to have all the answers, but brokers who refuse to even ask the questions may find more of their staff frustrated and looking elsewhere to further their real estate careers.