There’s so much noise out there on how to navigate a challenging market. This April, let Inman help you cut through the clutter to make smart business decisions in real time. All month long, we’re taking it Back to Basics and finding out how real estate pros are evolving their systems and investing personally and professionally to drive growth.
We all wish that our businesses were always growing and always thriving. There’s really nothing more exhilarating than seeing “up and to the right” on the charts.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes we get stuck. The good news is that you don’t have to stay there.
Identify the roadblock
When your real estate brokerage is in the mud, the first step is to start asking yourself the right questions to diagnose the issue.
- Is profit flat or declining?
- Is your agent count or closed production stagnant or declining?
- Are you having a hard time getting the agents you serve engaged in your value proposition?
- Is maintaining momentum or high energy in the brokerage becoming a challenge?
- Are you, as the owner, feeling uninspired or are having a hard time channeling the same passion that led you to build your business in the first place?
- Is there a new competitor who’s entered the market and is currently stealing your lunch money?
These are just a few of the common ways that brokerages can get stuck. Once you’ve identified the challenge you’re facing in your business, it’s time to start seeking solutions. Luckily, I’ve got the single solution that can be applied to all of the above.
You are missing a relationship (and not the Hinge or Bumble kind). Let me explain.
No one succeeds alone and you certainly haven’t up until this point. Not to take anything away from the credit you deserve, but you haven’t. Equally true is that no one gets “un-stuck” alone. It’s up to you to find and create the right relationship to get the business you envision back on the track. Let’s look at a few relationships that could be missing from the equation.
We know that everything rises and falls on leadership in an organization. Hear this: Just because you are stuck doesn’t mean you aren’t a good leader. If it does, that’s another topic for another day.
Sometimes you need additional leaders by your side to lift you up, bring fresh energy and perspective, or find leverage in your span of control. This means you’re missing a key hire, whether it be a new position or replacing an existing role. If you are looking for a big way to move your business forward, the right leader can be a change agent.
Coach or mentor
Speaking of leaders, who is leading you? No, seriously. If you think you don’t need a leader because you own the company, think again.
One thing that makes a good leader, a great leader: They are also a great follower. This could be a professional coach, which I highly recommend. A qualified and experienced coach can help you identify precisely where your challenges lie, how to solve for them, and break through to the other side. Not to mention, they will hold you accountable for the activity and change required to get “un-stuck”.
A great coach will have other clients who are going through the same things you are and therefore will have practical ideas, tools and even networking connections to offer you support.
Don’t want to spend the money for a great coach? The ROI you’ll see when you invest in yourself will be hands down the best dollars you ever spent. In fact, a study conducted by the International Coach Federation (ICF) found that those working with a coach grew their net income by 46 percent on average.
Like our favorite Northwest brand, Nike, taught us: Just Do It.
Mentors can be a great resource to get you back on track as well. Just keep in mind, they’re not coaches — the key difference being the accountability piece. Mentors may come in the form of industry experts, teachers, other owners you collaborate with, etc.
Be careful who you select as a mentor or allow to influence you and your decisions. Do your research, verify their track record, talk to other people they mentor or influence. Because we live in the age of information, remember you don’t just need someone feeding you worksheets and statistics. What you need is a relationship, and we should treat all relationships with the intentionality they deserve.
If your ego is too big read no further. It might be why you are stuck in the first place.
For the rest of you, you may consider a strategic partner as the relationship you are missing. What’s a strategic partner, you ask? It’s an opportunity for leverage, to maximize your gifts — and theirs in turn. It’s like adding gasoline to the fire you’ve already worked so hard to build. A strategic partner might be someone you currently view as a competitor.
Not comfortable with a competitor becoming a strategic partner? See “ego” above. Mergers or strategic partnerships happen all the time in many industries. The reason is often to add value and grow both partners. Don’t overlook this one.
Many owners are stuck because they are trying to do everything at once, or are at least juggling too many things. Finding the right strategic partner might free you from the things that must get done, but that you hate doing or aren’t all that good at.
A strategic partner may have more efficient systems, processes, technology, tools or relationships that can add major horsepower to what you are working toward. You could skip years of recreating the wheel, which can equal getting “un-stuck” and exponential growth.
Some of the best of the best in the industry are turning to strategic partnerships to fuel their growth. Take Livian or PLACE, for example. These platforms are designed to help big real estate teams take their businesses to the next level.
“Having a solution for the business owner who wants to build a big vision, but doesn’t want to sacrifice their happiness, their family, their health to do it is where we come into play,” said Livian’s Director of Industry Eric Forney on a recent podcast. “It’s a lot more effective to do entrepreneurship with like-hearted people — who are also high-minded leaders — than it is to do it alone.”
Another standout example is the Keller Williams Indie Model, which allows independent brokerages to keep all of the things they love about being independent, while also taking advantage of one of the most powerful brokerage platforms on the planet. Most brokerage owners don’t even know this is an option.
In summary, if you are stuck, seek a relationship. The reality is you are already succeeding in a relationship-driven business, so this solution should be right in your wheelhouse.
All you need to do is determine which relationship(s) are the right fit for you and do what you do best: Start the relationship, build and nurture the relationship, and experience the massive breakthrough you are looking for. Not just to become “un-stuck” but to thrive — because you deserve it.
Chase Williams is the co-founder of NW Wealthbuilders and growth leader for the Keller Williams Northwest Region. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn.