I have four simple keys that can make a big difference in your business. If I've learned anything about the real estate business in the past two decades it is that it is unpredictable. It does have cycles, and then a recession like 2008 comes along and changes everything. Because of that, it is wise to remove anything in the business that is not contributing to your success. Hopefully, these suggestions will help.
Key 1. Take a critical look at your business. Is it where you want it to be? If not, honestly ask yourself why? Look at it as if you were a business professional looking to buy the business. Would you accept it as it is, or would you start making changes as soon as you received the keys to the office? It can be easy to become blind to our challenges. You create something, it has some success and it's your baby, but will it grow into a productive adult?
Key 2. Jettison things that don't work. I know this sounds harsh, but that can be systems, equipment and people. When I started my own brokerage I had a number of agents from my previous company ask to join me. I declined. In that office, a very small group of the 25 agents did all of the deals. The others sat around, drank coffee, made copies and searched Facebook. I didn't want that in my office, so I didn't invite anyone to come along and I turned down those who asked to join.
The same is true of systems. What worked in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s may not work today. There is a coach, a program, a pay-per-click site, a website marketer, and many other things around every corner waiting to be funded by your hard work. When online marketing companies solicit me to provide leads, I have a standing policy. Give me sixty days free and if I have one good closing I'll sign up for a year. No takers to date. I always ask if they don't have confidence in their product, why should I?
Surround yourself with the right people. I mentioned above that I didn't take any agents in the early days of Cornerstone as a brokerage, but I have taken some in the past few years. I also needed an office administrator. I hired one in June of 2016. She came highly recommended and she had a good interview. She only lasted two days. It's not that I'm hard to work with, but I expect results and excellence. I'm not a charity or a rehab facility. If someone works with me, they've got to have high energy, they've got to be open to learn and they've got to earn their keep. She did not have the juice to be a high-performer, and I didn't have the skills, the patience or the "want to" to change her. I hired a new office administrator in November 2016 and I am really excited at how she has worked out. She is a kindred spirit who is not only doing a great job, but she has great vision and she wants to learn. Hire people who enhance your success.
Key 3. Reward those who help you be successful. I love rewarding those who cause me to be successful. That includes lenders, closers and other agents. I send referrals to my lenders and closers and I even send referrals to local agents I enjoy working with. Sometimes I just can't get to everyone who is asking for help. In those cases, I have a handful of local agents I gladly send those clients to. My crew gets the first opportunity, but I have given excellent clients to other agents in my market.
I also reward my clients. I'm always grateful that someone picks my company over all other options in our market. I always give a closing gift to my clients, but I also send my electrical contracting company through the newly purchased home to make repairs or changes prior the buyers moving in. At the end of the year, we revisit all of those clients and send gift baskets as a holiday gift to add one more thank you for their business. I rarely lose a client.
Key 4. Set aside funds for a rainy day. This year started out a little quiet, but by the end of January, my plate was full. I did more business in January than I did in the fourth quarter of 2022. The success of January was a great time to set aside funds for a slower period if one came. The local market is unpredictable as many are. So, being prepared for the ups and downs is an excellent way to make sure you're in business next year. With this business, it's important to make sure you keep enough resources set aside that you can survive market anomalies. I thank God daily that I'm in a business that gives me that level of freedom.
The keys could be endless in most any business, but these four help me stay on top of my game. What keys can you add to this group? Feel free to share with us so we can all grow and succeed together.
Four Simple Keys Can Make a Big Difference in Your Business