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REALTOR® Guide to Taking Your Business to the Next Level

Congratulations. If you’re thinking of taking your real estate business to the next level or opening a brokerage, it likely means your years of hard work are paying off. If it’s time to grow your business there are many important considerations to make when it comes to ramping up manpower, adding certifications and developing business plans.

Are you considering starting a brokerage? Has an increase in sales made it necessary for you to hire an assistant? Do you have all your necessary certifications in order? If opening your own brokerage is the next logical step in your professional development, it’s important to consult with accountants and business professionals who can advise you on developing a plan to ensure that you’re on solid financial ground.

According to a 2010 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Member Profile, 41% of REALTORS® are affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company. Among the decisions you’ll need to make is whether to buy a franchise or to go independent.  REALTOR® Magazine’s 11 Tips for Starting Your Own Business offers great advice on everything from developing a business plan to recruiting other real estate professionals to join you.

Financial planning is only the beginning, however. Part of building your business is about hiring the right people. Since REALTORS® often have unique, diverse background, it’s likely that you’ll be able to identify pieces of your team that fit well together — people who bring unique skills to the table and are able to bring out the best in others, while covering for other team members’ blind spots. Hire the right people, encourage real estate training, certification, and development, and then trust them to do their job effectively. The point of hiring people isn’t to spend more time managing, but instead to delegate responsibility so you can focus on the growth and success of your business.

Lynn Minnick addresses the issue of team building in real estate in What I Learned in Leadership. She says:

“So many REALTORS® have ‘past lives’ or special talents that make them great candidates for certain committees or task forces (think former IT professional for technology committee, retired building inspector for building task force).”

When it comes to hiring agents, or an assistant, for example, Alex Milshteyn offers the following advice in the YPN Lounge:

“My advice is to hire help as soon as you reach 30 or more deals per year. It’s worth every penny. And down the road, it will improve your bottom line. It will give you the opportunity to spend more time doing the activities that get you business.”

In addition to implementing a business plan and hiring agents, you’ll want to focus on your personal development as well. Set a plan of action for growth where you can measure marketing results and take incremental steps to reach your big-picture goals. Share your goals and successes on your real estate blog, on social media channels, and with your peers. Don’t get so caught up in ramping up your business that you forget to focus on your personal brand, since that’s actually a big part of the business. Be your own advocate, and take advantage of social media tools to continue to become the face of your organization. Becoming a broker is an exciting career move, and NAR is a great resource for guiding you through your business development and personal growth.

Did you make the decision to branch off on your own and start your own brokerage? How did you take your business to the next level? What advice do you have for REALTORS®?

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