Fresh Ideas on Managing a Brokerage

By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine

Broker to Broker: Management Lessons From America’s Most Successful Real Estate Companies by Robert Freedman (John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2006)

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What can I do to get my brokerage into the news more often? How should I respond to limited-service competitors? Am I providing incentives that keep my sales associates motivated? As a broker, your ability to find the best answers to questions like these will determine the success of your business. Luckily, other brokerages around the country have dealt with similar issues and have found innovative solutions. This book, a collection of articles and columns from REALTOR® Magazine, aims to give you an edge by bringing you real-life examples of how other brokers have responded to obstacles and opportunities. The book’s three main sections — Managing Operations, Managing People, and Managing Risk — include articles and how-to guides for growing business, keeping associates motivated, and staying out of legal trouble. By reading about what other brokerages have done, you’ll spur ideas that will work in your market.

Tips From the Book:

  • Boost your visibility in the community. To boost foot traffic into your brokerage office, choose a location in a high-traffic retail strip and make the space look warm and inviting so people will feel welcome to walk in and ask questions. When there is a local event, such as a parade or street fair, make your presence known by placing a booth outside of your office. Ask sales associates to staff the booth in shifts so they can chat with passersby about real estate.
  • Add a staging service to set your firm apart. With competition among brokerages so heated, you should always be looking for new services that will set your company apart from the rest. One great example is home staging, which can help the home sell quicker and for a higher price. Sales associates can work with a professional home stager to make aesthetic changes to the home.
  • Plan for ‘what ifs’ in your market. Improve your brokerage’s ability to respond quickly to change by developing a plan you would follow in the event of certain scenarios, such as major layoffs by a local employer, a natural disaster, or a major new competitor. Start by listing your company’s areas of strength and vulnerability and then identify probable future events. Finally, plan your response. This strategy will keep unpleasant surprises at bay.