From interest rates to the housing supply, there are a lot of things you can’t control in the real estate business. Though these external variables create the business climate for your brokerage, they’re not the biggest factors in whether you grow or simply hang in there.
The good news is that the things that matter most for your brokerage’s success lie within your control: culture, technology, and recruiting. Improving these areas may require upfront investment, but if you get these three things right, you’ll be poised for growth — regardless of your market’s conditions.
A famous writer once said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” The same could be said for business culture, a topic that is endlessly discussed by experts and consultants, but still leaves most business owners confused. This is partly because there’s so much confusion about what “culture” actually means.
You don’t need to have a complicated definition: in an organization, culture is the set of processes that affects the motivation of its people. In a culture that encourages high performance, those processes maximize people’s motivation.
Researchers Lyndsay McGregor and Neel Doshi demonstrated the power of positive motivation in their study of high performing organizations. They found that successful companies like Southwest Airlines and Trader Joe’s maximize the positive motivations their employees have for working for them, which include a sense of purpose, potential, and fun. At the same time, these companies minimize negative motivations, such as feeling the need to work just to bring home a paycheck.
With a positively-motivated culture, your brokerage becomes an environment where agents will do their best not because you tell them to, but because they want to.
Picking the right platforms and digital infrastructure plays a central role in supporting a positive work culture.
Ashley Goldsmith and Leighanne Levensaler, who oversee employee motivation at cloud applications leader Workday, write that they have found that you can’t simply create a culture by laying out values and implementing new processes and organizational structure.
“Those things are necessary,” they write, “but we like to think of values as the beating heart of culture, processes and organizational structure as the brain, and technology as the nervous system that makes sure heart and head are working together to move us forward.”
When correctly implemented, technology supports your brokerage culture in three ways:
• Democratizing information: Applications keep data flowing between agents, admins and brokers, meaning that everyone has the information they need to do their job.
• Enabling performance: Real Estate technology helps people and teams perform at their best which, in turn, attracts high-performing new people to the team.
• Creating opportunity: People are given the tools they need to build their career.
Recruiting top talent is always a top priority, and if you feel like you feel like you could be doing a better job at it, you’re in good company.
According to a recent Imprev Thought Leader survey, 85% of top real estate executives believe recruiting is a critical business challenge. Additionally, 52% rank “attracting younger agents” among their top concerns.
This competition for Millennial agents means that you need to purposefully work to attract them.
Fortunately, some of the most successful strategies are easy to implement. For starters, get the younger agents you already have working for you to introduce you to their peers. And to help seal the deal, connect with these potential recruits offline – this is a generation already overwhelmed by technology, and the personal touch will help you stand out from the noise.
To ensure that these strategies lead to long-term happy hires, spend time focusing on your retention strategies and what your brokerage offers in the way of training and mentorship. Younger agents are attracted to brokerages that offer them training, give them the best technology tools, and, most importantly, give them access to willing mentors who will help them successfully steer their career.