Brokers need to look beyond their office doors and find unique and affordable ways to help their real estate associates build successful businesses.
Problem: Brokers have limited resources to help their agents grow a sustainable business.
Let’s take a brief look at the current landscape. In today’s economy, the real estate industry is going through significant changes, in particular, inside brokerage houses. Competition amongst the ‘leading’ brands, Realogy, Keller Williams, Re/Max, and Coldwell Banker (source- NARs report April 2020) is tougher than ever, with no sign of letting up.
As the competition gets bolder, the current compensation plans of traditional brokerages get more diluted. This alone is complicating their business and lowering profits year after year.
So it’s no wonder that brokers are creating ancillary products and services to add to their core business. These additional revenue streams are usually closely related to buying or selling real estate. For example, these may include mortgage and land title services or even in-house insurance programs or property management offerings.
The problem with this methodology is that the owners are getting farther and farther away from their core business and their agents are left needing and wanting more.
There is building evidence that the BIG Venture Capital funded real estate companies are becoming more transactional in nature and thereby, losing out on what really matters- the human element. This is in direct contrast to the small business owner-operator brokers who create profits for their teams and are the true ‘backbone’ for their agents.
Another response to this shark-infested competition is the emergence of cloud-based brokerages such as EXP Realty. These brokerages are agent-owned and offer full value to agents and their brokers by offering them competitive splits and fees, countless hours of live online training and support. These platforms give agents a leg up when it comes to support and more money in their pockets.
So, what value are brokers offering their real estate agents?
Many are now partnering with cloud-based tech companies in an effort to stay ‘ahead’ of their competition. They still provide training, support, and technology. Many spend a great deal of money on advertising to drive people to their websites and keep their brand top of mind. The real issue is that about 10% of the top producers benefit from this strategy while the remaining are struggling to stay afloat.
From an agent’s perspective, the burden lies on them. They are paying monthly brokerage fees, regardless of their sales volume. There isn’t a reliable way to generate appointments consistently and new technology is often a difficult and slow process to learn.
Brokers need to start investing more in the people they have vs acquisition.
Getting back to the basics is a good starting point. Real estate agents used to be looked upon as their neighborhood hub, the go-to person for advice, contacts, and relationships. However, during these past few decades, this role has taken a back seat to the “tech platforms”, which has eroded the key influencer to one of a transactional nature.
What the industry needs now is for agents to take on the role of the community expert, once again and establish relationships with people. For those who have committed to this path, however, it can be a lot of work. Imagine starting out now not knowing where to start. You will need to set up and manage the following:
- Research every community that you could potentially work in. Then find market trends and know the stats like days-on-market, absorption rate and percentage of list, etc.
- Email your database every week. Keep it personal by creating new content that adds value for them.
- Reach out to friends and family. Ask them for referrals.
- Post relevant information on social media platforms.
- Create Youtube videos
- Door knock in hopes of catching someone ready for your services.
How is this possible when there’s only one of you?
Here’s a solution that is working well for Ali Abbas and many other brokerage houses.
“I am always in search of new ideas and unique solutions to help my agents succeed,” explains Ali Abbas of EXP Realty Ottawa. “I want to create a full service brokerage to help homeowners and the communities they live in.
When Abbas reached out to CEO and Cofounder of Parkbench.com, Grant Findlay-Shirras, a leading online platform that helps local professionals connect with their community, he knew he hit the jackpot!
“It’s everything my community-minded agents need and more to create profitable and sustainable businesses,” Ali explains.
They have since formed a partnership that allows their agents to use the Parkbench platform on a pay-as-you-go basis. No upfront fees are required.
Parkbench has created “the local broker program” that allows a brokerage to get exclusivity to the city that their agents cover, for free. In return, the brokerage helps Parkbench offer a “pay-as-you-earn” model to agents. This way, agents don’t have to pay upfront for Parkbench’s service – the current model that alienates agents who don’t have the cash flow to pay for it. But now, they can pay for the service as they make money – an industry first!
“This is how confident we, at Parkbench, are in our ability to help real estate agents maximize their potential and create the lifestyle they want”, Grant adds.
In summary, working directly with companies that offer the ‘true’ one-stop-shop will pay off for decades as sustainability is the heart of business.
Are you ready to learn more? Do you want to be a community minded broker?
Maybe it’s time to rethink how you have been doing business. If you want to offer your agents a fresh, new approach to creating a real estate business that doesn’t rely on buying your way in, then contact Grant Findlay-Shirras or Ali Abbas for more information.
If you’re an agent in Ottawa, contact Ali to get access to Parkbench at no upfront cost to you.
If you’re a broker owner or team leader who wants to give your agents a systematic and predictable way to create high quality leads through relationships and referrals in their geo farm, that doesn’t cost you any money, then contact Grantfs@parkbench.com to learn more about “the local broker program.”
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