Brokers, before you lick your pen or crack your knuckles getting ready to type a rebuttal, please continue to read. As for you Agents, wipe that smirk off your face, and just keep reading.
Now, before I start my rant, I want to explain why I think I’ve got the background to write about this. Let’s go back to before I ever got into real estate, and I was the client. The dreaded client. The client who probably had one of the biggest “goober” agents in real estate. To put it lightly, I’ve experienced it from the consumer side. Fast forward to when I decided to make a career out of organized real estate. I worked for a really “nice” broker who was the owner of a large franchise. Knowing very little about organized real estate I assumed all brokers were similar to mine, a nice guy who kind of flew by the seat of his pants.
After 5 years of working for someone else, I had the misfortune of getting caught in the “I can do it myself for less money” trap that a lot of egotistical high-producing agents find themselves in. Yes, you heard me right – I called myself egotistical. What I should really call myself is “crazy”! Now I’m the CEO of not only a real estate company, but also a start up real estate software company. You’d think I would have learned my lesson already, but like I said, I think I am clinically crazy…or at least it feels like that most days.
Hopefully now I’ve shown you that I have the experience to see what’s in front of me from all angles, on both sides of the table, and that I have an unbiased perception of Brokers and Agents.
with the title ‘Brokers…Leaders or Losers’, you ask? Before I get to the answer, let me preface by saying that NOT all Brokers should be painted with the same brush, and there are some wonderful, thoughtful, perceptive brokers all over North America. Brokers take note: agents need leaders! They need men and women that will lead by example. They need brokers that will think out-of-the-box. They need to be communicated to, educated, a corporate culture they can believe in, and a roadmap they can follow.
So, if this is what agents want, why is the broker value proposition in such disrepair right now? Let me tell you why: Brokers have a very unique and sometimes unmanageable position. Brokers need to lead agents who are too slow to adapt, who don’t like change, who are continually showing their lack of loyalty by jumping ship, and agents who, in a lot of cases, have no idea about work ethic (ie. lazy) and running a business.
Imagine for a moment trying to manage, lead and implement business strategies and policies with someone who pays you to work for you. It’s pretty tough to manage and lead people when they could tell you to bugger off and go somewhere else where they will be welcomed with open arms.
You’re not off the hook just yet Brokers: just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you should just stop and give up. A leader will persevere and do what’s right for the organization, and – more importantly – their clients. By not continuing to adapt to new ideas, technology and strategies, you become losers. You’ll lose your agents, clients and the respect that your employees and staff had in you.
One thing that really surprises me is that more brokers don’t attend events like NAR (National Association of Realtors Convention) or Inman Connect (Real Estate Technology Conference) to find out what’s happening in the market and what the pulse of the industry is. This is what your agents expect from you. A leader needs to source out what’s new and what’s hot to use or incorporate into their businesses
that will improve their agents’ performance.
There’s another reason I used “Losers” in the title: Agents, wake up and realize that your broker is a loser…that is, a loser of a heck of a lot of money! Yes, there are some very profitable and successful brokerages out there, but I can assure you that for every profitable brokerage there are 20 or more that show little, if any, profit. I’m not asking you to cry over your brokers situation, but you agents need to understand the dynamics of a real estate company. Splits are being pressured, cost of real estate and real estate expenses are rising, and employees are demanding more and more. Never mind trying to keep up with technology and computer hardware. Hosting costs, servers, IT support people, programs, computers, wireless, colour photocopiers etc are all items that just came onto the scene in the last 10 years…all the while in the last 10 years splits have declined year over year. If you’ve wondering why your broker may not be leading you the way he or she should, it’s because they’re a “loser”.
All is not lost, however. There’s still time to fix the problem, and it starts with ‘value proposition’. Brokers must create a corporate strategy and proposition that agents see as valuable. Agents need to embrace what their broker brings to them, and try very hard to implement it into their businesses.
If you don’t like your brokers’ roadmap and strategies, then leave. Find somewhere else that will support you and provide you with the valuable tools that will help you captivate your clients and create great business for you.
Brokers, you need to open your eyes and realize that there’s a lot of technology out there that will help your business grow. I’ve seen very recently how brokers are closed-minded to even giving companies like mine the opportunity to share some amazing technology with them. And, quite frankly, I’m surprised that they actually believe they’ll be able to compete in an industry that’s changing so rapidly none of us can keep up.
Brokers, become a leader or you will be a loser.