10 Tips to Seize the Market as a Real Estate Broker
Today’s real estate market is highly competitive, requiring a concerted team effort to succeed. Brokerages must be able to identify and recruit the top real estate agents in their area if they want to seize the market. They also need to retain the best agents, which is vital for attracting top talent. In addition, technology is an increasingly important factor in distinguishing the best brokerages. The following 10 tips describe key strategies for building the capabilities needed to become a leading brokerage.
1. Learn what agents want in a brokerage.
A clear understanding of what draws agents to your brokerage is essential for staying ahead of the competition in terms of recruiting. Real estate agents want to work for a brokerage that has a sterling track record in its area that demonstrates its professionalism, expertise, and leadership. It must also provide agents with opportunities for growth.
The specific motivations that drive an agent to change jobs can vary greatly, but they typically include a desire for more income, a change in a physical location, or friction with a coworker. Furthermore, interested prospects have a particular set of requirements when considering a job change. These could include higher commission splits or a desire to work with the latest technology to improve their productivity.
Addressing these individual preferences requires you to listen carefully to candidates when interviewing them. It’s important to probe these needs to discover their underlying motivation, which can significantly increase the length of the interview. However, this process can provide you with the insights needed to attract the most qualified applicants. Responding to these individual needs is also an essential practice for retaining your current real estate agents.
2. Hire agents proactively.
Many brokerages make the mistake of only recruiting agents when they already have a vacancy they need to fill. Recruiting shouldn’t be a process that you only perform as needed because agents often leave on short notice if you want to seize the market. In this scenario, a brokerage remains at a competitive disadvantage while it struggles to find a replacement quickly. This practice also limits the possible candidates to agents who are actively looking for a job.
It’s much better to adopt a proactive approach that continually maintains a pipeline of agents who may be interested in the right offer, even though they may not be seeking a new position at that moment. Continuous lead generation is generally good practice for most businesses, but real estate is particularly dependent upon building relationships. CRM and lead gen software can help connect you with other real estate professionals, even when your brokerage isn’t actively recruiting. It allows you to lay the groundwork and keep in touch for the time when you need them, making the recruitment process much less disruptive to your daily operations. In your follow-up with candidates, using your recruiting CRM like Brokerkit in combination with your leadgen scripts objections will help you close the top agents.
3. Use events to your advantage.
The real estate business often involves activities outside the office that provide an opportunity to network with friends and colleagues. These include both professional and social events, where you can make the personal connection needed to develop your recruiting pipeline. Brokerages should hold these events on a regular basis, whether they’re purely social, or include discussions on professional topics such as training to gain continuing education credits. The social aspect of these events can be particularly useful for establishing rapport with agents and building your brand. Real estate professionals in your area will soon be discussing your brokerage among themselves, especially when you consistently show them a good time.
4. Recruit talent at all experience levels.
It’s always a good idea to cast the widest possible net when recruiting top talent, but it’s especially important to ensure that you attract agents with a variety of experience levels. Agents who have been in the business for years are certainly among the most skilled and effective, but you shouldn’t overlook up-and-coming rock stars who are waiting to be discovered. The primary challenge in recruiting agents from multiple experience levels is managing their different expectations. This process requires you to adjust your pitch for each set of requirements so that you can effectively target agents with a specific experience level.
For example, you can attract new agents with incentives such as brand-building, mentorship, and formal training if you want to seize the market. Agents at this level are particularly interested in acquiring the skills they’ll need to succeed in real estate over the long term. On the other hand, experienced agents are more likely to be attracted by a technologically current working environment such as with a designated network administrator to troubleshoot tech issues for them and who allows them to work more efficiently. Additionally, a private office with a larger workspace also helps experienced agents. Improved their productivity and also inspires them with a sense of pride in their work.
5. Market your company culture.
Culture is an intangible quality for a brokerage, but it’s crucial for determining whether it can retain the top talent that it hires. According to Corcoran Coaching, recruitment builds a team, while culture keeps it running. The best real estate companies are more than just a group of real estate brokers and agents; they’re a complete, cohesive unit. However, this is only possible when all team members are driven by shared values to achieve a common goal.
It’s crucial to view the development of a definitive culture in your brokerage as an investment, rather than an expense. Culture requires significant time to develop, so your company founder may not have one yet. By the time you need to recruit agents. However, you at least need to have a clear picture of your brand and mission to ensure your brokerage attracts the right agents. Once your company culture is better defined, you can promote it more strongly as part of your overall recruitment effort. As a result, the agents best suited for your company will be most likely to approach you for employment.
6. Support the professional growth of your agents.
Providing agents with the means to further their career growth is a highly effective method of building your brokerage’s reputation to seize the market. This practice includes committing to continuous learning for your agents, which is one of the best long-term investments you can make for your brokerage. Strong support for ongoing education can post their motivation to make the difference between merely competent work and career-defining excellence. Furthermore, promoting career growth demonstrates your brokerage’s expertise and leadership in the real estate industry.
First-hand mentorship is a vital part of professional education when consulting with your agents, as it helps establish the role of brokers as leaders and think of them more like a CEO. Their many years of experience in the industry provide a valuable source of information to share with the next generation of agents. Mentorship thus helps your voice carries throughout your company as well as the real estate industry as a whole.
7. Develop your benefits package to seize the market.
Recruiting real estate agents inevitably involves a discussion of compensation. A brokerage often has guidelines that determine what it can offer to candidates, but a top producer will expect some flexibility on the commission split and services provided. One option for improving compensation is to offer referral fees to employees who find new hires.
Brokerages can also offer incentives to go beyond financial compensation. If feasible, hiring your agents as a W2 employees and offering benefits like health insurance is particularly attractive to agents with years of experience. Unconventional ideas for sweetening the pot include subscriptions to a homebuyer magazine and personalized gifts.
In general, the benefits package provides a great opportunity for devising creative ways to recruit real estate agents. However, a clear understanding of what agents want from working with your firm should always drive out-of-the-box thinking for financial benefits and other perks that you may offer. This approach is often key to attracting top real estate agents.
8. Invest in technology to seize the market.
Technology is a vital component for virtually all transactions in the modern business world, but its use is particularly prominent in real estate for real estate brokers and even if you are a mortgage broker. Essential functions in real estate such as buying and selling properties routinely involve the use of online tools and resources, as do the evaluations from a real estate appraiser. Technology also plays a key role within the internal operations of your brokerage by helping them to build, develop and maintain their agent teams.
Impressing agents with your brokerage requires an ongoing investment in relevant technology. The different systems needed to remain competitive and productive in today’s real estate industry are always changing, so keeping up with the latest technology should remain a priority for your brokerage. Evaluating a new tool should always focus on its potential for increasing a brokerage’s automation and results in terms of production.
Technology also plays a critical role in facilitating home sales, as traditional marketing materials such as photographs are no longer sufficient to catch the attention of prospective buyers. For example, video clips that provide virtual tours of homes are quickly becoming the standard for presenting listings. Social media is also a common method of showing listings due to its great influence on people’s daily lives.
Both current employees and prospects will appreciate a brokerage’s investment in technology that supports home sales. They’ll feel empowered by solutions specifically designed to make their lives easier by allowing them to work more efficiently. Technology is particularly attractive to young agents who have grown up surrounded by computer technology. Specific solutions of particular benefit to real estate agencies include accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), and document management software.
Brokerages in the US often deal with annual sales worth hundreds of millions of dollars, requiring sophisticated tools to protect them from human error. Accounting software helps brokerages streamline their bookkeeping process while ensuring it remains accurate and consistent. According to top broker Christine Smith, Scalability and automation are important capabilities of accounting software, especially for rapidly growing brokerages.
CRM Solutions to Seize the Market
Sales CRM software helps agents respond quickly to the needs and concerns of their clients, especially for agents with a large client list. This software stores profiles and automates many tasks that agents would otherwise be to perform manually. CRM software thus keeps agents productive, even on their busiest days.
Recruiting & Retention CRMs help you manage all of your potential recruits including the outreach and follow-up with them. Being able to manage your communications and follow up with your own agents in a Retention CRM will also help keep your agents successful, content and stick around.
Document Management Software
Processing legal documents and other types of paperwork remain a constant challenge in the real estate industry, making document management software a requirement in any brokerage. This software is particularly beneficial to high-performing agents who routinely deal with multiple clients at the same time, even when they only have temporary access to that software.
9. Build a strong online presence.
Enhancing your brand’s online visibility can be an inexpensive method of using technology to benefit your brokerage to seize the market. Hiring prospects and customers typically make extensive use of the internet to learn more about the real estate agencies they deal with. Maintaining a web property that makes a strong, lasting impression on employees and clients is only the first step in this process.
Making your brokerage’s online presence stand out from the competition is also important for attracting new agents. You can accomplish this goal by providing each agent with their own Internet Data Exchange (IDX) website, which is an effective method of boosting their careers in the current Internet-based real estate market. Agents with their own online platforms managed by the brokerage free of tech challenges like malware are thus able to lay the foundation for building their own brand as real estate professionals.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an effective method of driving traffic to a website. This approach allows you to gain visibility by targeting a specific real estate market. It also allows you to control your marketing spend because you only pay when a prospect clicks on the ad. In addition, a brokerage’s online presence isn’t limited to its website. For example, you can greatly increase your exposure and reach many agents by establishing user profiles on multiple social media platforms. In your social posts and ads, you might want to link to a landing page to capture your leads such as from an agent recruiting CRM like Brokerkit.
Additional strategies for maintaining top search results include optimizing your website’s user experience for mobile devices. A streamlined user interface is essential for any business website, as is the creation and maintenance of quality content. Your brokerage’s website is an ideal platform for showcasing its values and expertise. Update your content regularly to ensure it remains current with technological advances and market changes. You should also invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your company’s website has a high search ranking for relevant keywords in real estate.
10. Leverage a recruiting and retention CRM to seize the market.
Recruiters and managing brokers in a brokerage that lacks a Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) solution will eventually burn out as a result of managing their candidate relationships manually. Overload on trying to manually follow up and reach out to candidates can flatten your growth, making it essential to invest in good CRM software.
A CRM solution is highly effective in helping you seize the market for recruiting because it allows sourcing teams and their hiring managers to create talent pools, whether those candidates are passive or actively seeking a new position. The CRM is used to create a productive talent management platform. In this environment, the CRM maintains the recruitment workflow, assists in sourcing candidates, and automates the recruitment process, while also serving as the main platfrom for managing your candidates.
Specific functions of a CRM include the following:
- Lead management
- Contact management
- Recruiting pipeline management
- Task Management
Recruiters can use a CRM to manage their leads from a single location, although it isn’t the only system to do so. It allows them to easily control-track and move their leads through the entire recruitment funnel. A member of the recruiting team should try out this feature of a CRM before making a purchase decision.
An inability to locate a candidate on a busy day is one of the worst things that can happen to a recruiter, as it can also result in the failure to hire a top agent. Contact management is one of the key features of a CRM solution used to recruit agents. It’s therefore essential to ensure that the solution’s layout organization and customization of fields are useful for recruiters.
A CRM solution should also be able to help you track and save conversations with prospects. Check the solution’s ability to add notes and retrieve the entire conversation history for each candidate with a single search. This feature is essential for preventing confusion, especially for recruiters who handle many prospects.
Recruiting Pipeline Management to Seize the Market
A CRM like Brokerkit that manages the recruiting pipeline is particularly important for recruiters with many candidates since the recruiter will otherwise spend a good deal of time managing the candidates manually. These pipelines should be highly customizable, as it allows recruiters to create the system that best assists them in closing deals with candidates. Brokerages can also use this feature to create an overview of each candidates’ status as they travel through the pipeline, ensuring they don’t fall through any cracks in the workflow.
Recruiters should be able to integrate CRM like Brokerkit with their existing tools, allowing them to schedule meetings and manage interviews more easily. This feature should also provide recruiters with reminders for upcoming events like webinars. This integration with other applications is thus vital for maintaining daily recruiting activities.
Being able to manage your outreach to candidates in the same system where you manage your contacts, pipeline, and tasks is critical. You want a system where you can call, text, email, and set appointments with your prospects and candidates all in one place like Brokerkit.
Task management becomes more important to brokerages and their recruiting teams as their business grows. The best CRMs allow recruiters to manage their tasks for candidate follow-up in one place. These solutions with retention CRM functionality also help brokerages manage tasks related to onboarding and ongoing management of agents. Quick and efficient onboarding with detailed task plans is especially important to ramp new agents to be productive so they are successful and stick around.
Summary on how to Seize the Market
The increasingly competitive real estate industry means that brokerages must make greater efforts to recruit top agents. Achieving this goal requires a clear understanding of what motivates agents, which can change dramatically as they gain skills and experience. Technology is another area that brokerages need to consider carefully when developing their recruitment initiatives. The many capabilities of a CRM like Brokerkit, make this form of technology particularly useful for making recruiting efforts more successful and elevating the agent growth and production of your brokerage.