Get Off That Treadmill, You Hamster, You! (another message for ordinary real estate brokers)

How often have you heard it?  ‘Recruiting is the LIFEBLOOD of your real estate company!’ ‘Recruiting is the broker’s single most important job!’  ‘Recruit! Recruit! Recruit!’

Seems like we’re not even in the business of selling real estate anymore.  We’re in the business of providing a place where real estate agents can work.

If your business is driven by agents . . . that’s a definite case of the tail wagging the dog!

It wasn’t always that way.  Fifty years ago, real estate brokers were the business.  They worked hard to market themselves and become fixtures in the local community.  Sometimes, when they had more business than they could handle, they’d bring on an agent, to help.

But everything changed in the 70s when the franchises blossomed.  They showed brokers that every time they added an agent they increased the office’s reach into the community and expanded the office’s sphere of influence.  It was the birth of modern recruiting.

In the 80s, with success defined by the number of licenses held by the broker, recruiting warfare spread across the land.  Once someone figured out how to pay agents 100% of the commission on a sale, commission split became the only thing that mattered.  Splits rose higher and higher and company dollar fell lower and lower.

The contemporary residential real estate broker is little more than a beggar.  He begs agents to come to work for him and then begs them not to leave. He sweetens the deal with the only tool he has:  commission split.  With the lion’s share of the Gross going to pay agents . . . well, they don’t call ’em BROKErs fer nothin’!

It doesn’t have to be this way.  You can build your business on the power of your marketing rather than the number of bodies that occupy space under your roof.  But you must take control.

  1. Get back to reality with an attitude adjustment. It’s your business!  You took the risk, spent the money and you’re the one who squirms when it’s time to pay the bills.  Sure you love your agents, but they are the help. 
  2. Now that you’ve had an attitude adjustment, have a commission split adjustment. You are turning your office into a self-sustaining, lead generating machine.  Anyone who works for you will benefit from that and thus should be paid something unheard of today: a reasonable commission split!
  3. Take back control of your marketing. As commission splits rose to astounding heights, brokers in large measure shifted responsibility for marketing to agents.  Of course, very few agents actually invested in marketing and those who did marketed themselves, not your company.  You have to control the marketing to control the message and the leads that are created.  And you’re going to have to start spending serious money to market your company.
  4. Track and control your leads like the precious gems they are. A funny thing happens when real estate brokers take control of their marketing:  they become extremely fussy about their leads!  How many did we get?  What caused them to contact us?  What happened to them? It’s no wonder.  Today, most brokers spend more than $100 to generate a single inquiry! With that reality, you have to demand excellence in how they are handled.
  5. Never hire anyone until your business is generating so much buyer and seller traffic that you cannot handle it with your current staff. This probably means you’re going to have to let some of your existing staff go. It’s ok. Your future staff is going to feed you so much better than the commission split crew you have now.
  6. Come up with a consumer offer that is so compelling that people have to call you to find out how it works. It should be unique and should benefit the consumer.  Here is a hint:  if your consumer offer is 6%, MLS, Zillow, Sign, Open House, etc. – that’s not good enough.

IF you can execute those six steps, recruiting will stop being your reason to exist and become an essential activity, undertaken when necessary.  Armed with what every good agent wants, a steady flow of leads, you will be in a position to choose the agent you want to hire.  There is a big difference between choosing and begging and, as we all know, beggars can’t be choosers!

By now you are probably wondering what planet this happens on!  Understandably so.  The ordinary real estate world has been flowing in the same direction for so many years that, for it to right itself now would be about as difficult as having the Titanic maneuver around that iceberg!

Thankfully, the infrastructure for this real estate revolution is already in place.  It is a consumer focused, broker-centric business model called Help-U-Sell Real Estate.  For forty years we have been on the cutting edge of keeping brokers in control, and of delighting consumers in the process.  We build our businesses through careful marketing (and we market like nobody else), not by endless recruiting.  We deliver a full service experience that saves consumers thousands of dollars every day.

We organize our offices very differently than our ordinary counterparts.  A broker controlled environment operating on less revenue per transaction would have to.  Many brokers, struggling to make ends meet in their 6% offices, can’t imagine how Help-U-Sell Real Estate is able to charge less and keep going. But here’s the truth:  through proven systems and efficiencies, through careful control of leads and accountability, through staff specialization and division of tasks, our brokers usually return more dollars to the bottom line on a typical transaction than ordinary brokers do.  That’s right:  we charge less but make more.

If that sounds too good to be true, we’d love to talk with you and show you how it works!  Or have you talk with some of our current members.

Let’s be honest.  For forty years – probably less, depending on when you entered the business – you’ve watched us and thought we’d be gone like dust in the wind in a matter of months.  But we’re still here.  We’ve never gone anywhere.  Obviously, we have something that works.  Isn’t it time you found out what it was?

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