Real estate is essentially a research industry: trouble is, most agents and brokers think the most important research is about houses, prices, square footage and such. Considering the data that sits in most MLS systems – unverified and incomplete – you’d think they would know better by now. In fact, the best research for any sales industry isn’t the commodity data but the customer specs and competition capabilities. Knowing everything there is to know about the consumer – and the competitors who are trying to beat you to their door – is far more fascinating. And given the state of Read more
Yesterday found me on the 15th floor of the New York Times building in Manhattan, part of a trio of industry thinkers including Mike Staver and Steve Harney. Joining us for three hours of “ask anything” discussion were some of the city’s finest brokers and managers. The host, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, had brought us together for a second time (the first in Phoenix) in a brainstorming session that had audience and panel each doing equal work. And unlike one of the usual presentations you might attend, the learning flowed both ways, from industry experts both on Read more
Recently we pointed out that the next generation of REALTORS will come from non-traditional sources. As brokers focus more on productivity than body-count, and the recession will ultimately teach them this business lesson. A more rational, performance-based method of building real estate companies will emerge. Traditional “Ponzi” schemes of filling the bottom with as many people with a license-and-heartbeat will fade away. It will become less frequent, not more, than inexperienced sales people will be thrown into the office mix. This positive lesson, while long awaited, will help brokers reconfigure their strategies for the future. But what about salespeople? How Read more
A recent quote from Walter Percy Chrysler has been stuck in my head lately: Most people never get ahead in life because when opportunity knocks, they are out back looking for four leaf clovers. These days, it seems like Chrysler’s perspective is particularly appropriate to the real estate industry crisis. In addition to merely waiting around for Uncle Sam, Freddie, Fannie and even China to revive the housing industry, most brokers are busy scurrying around looking for lucky charms to help them survive the downturn. In fact, it’s even worse than usual – beyond burying statues and rearranging furniture – Read more
When an industry suffers from a problem for decades and still hasn’t figured it out, it’s likely focusing on the wrong issue. Real estate’s “recruiting and retention” problem has consumed millions, perhaps billions of dollars in wasted time, energy and effort. It’s apparent that all of the “symptom” solutions and snake oil in the universe won’t solve it. So let’s try something else: Challenge the premise. What if there wasn’t a recruiting or retention problem in the future?
Imagine if real estate brokers and managers could stop endlessly recruiting. It’s not a dream; it’s a definitely reality for modern companies. Yet for too many brokers, it remains a far off possibility – unfortunately. To stop recruiting, brokers would have to address a big question: Why do they recruit in the first place? Some would say because they were “told to” by other brokers, or trainers, or people-in-the-know, or their franchise. Few would say, “I recruit because I’m currently running my company at 100% efficiency and my agents are using their maximum capacity and the market opportunities warrant our Read more