The 10 Most Important Things I Know About Running A Successful Real Estate Company

I’ve been doing this for 34 years: helping real estate brokers be more successful. I’ve worked with ordinary brokers whose lives revolved around recruiting and I’ve worked with extraordinary brokers who put the consumer first and built real businesses.  Over time, I’ve learned a few things that are powerful and true for any real estate company.  Here are my top 10:

No leads means No listings.  Really, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a real estate broker kavetch that s/he is not getting any leads.  In time I discovered that there was a direct correlation between lead production and listing activity.  Think about it:  why would you have leads if you have nothing to sell?  So, got no leads?  Go get a listing.

The inquiry is where the rubber meets the road.  Dramatic improvement in the bottom line is possible if you focus on the intake process.  A 3% to 10% increase can usually be achieved in a matter of weeks if you just tighten up how you respond to inquiries, how effectively you procure contact information and permission (real or implied) to continue the conversation.

Incubation is essential.  Going hand-in-glove with the previous point, you must have a way to maintain, track and interact with your leads going forward.  Our business is very different from what it was ten years ago.  Rarely does anyone contact you, needing to get their home on the market by the weekend.  Now, most leads take 3 – 12 weeks to mature, sometimes more.  Without a lead database that you massage regularly, you will not be competitive. It’s critical.

Face-to-Face always wins. We may have leapt into the digital information age, may have transitioned to online and less personal marketing, but this has only made face-to-face contact more powerful.  Never email or text when you can call or see the prospect in-person . . . and in-person is probably 40% more effective than calling. This is most important when working around one of your listings.  A mailed Just Listed or Just Sold card is not nearly as effective as one that is hand delivered with an attempt at a brief conversation.

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are . . . KEY.  In our business, the most important KPI are: Days on Market, Sale Price as a Percent of List Price, % in-house sales, and Seller Savings.  If you will gather this data on your company and then gather the same data on your MLS – you will always come out way ahead! If you don’t, there’s a problem and we ought to talk about it! Using this kind of information in listing consultations and marketing can make the difference between getting the listing and not.

The most important thing you can do with online marketing is to become findable.  That means:  Claiming your business on Google and Yelp, building out your listing with photos and information and getting some five-star reviews on each site.  It means creating a Facebook Business page, posting relevant and important information and occasionally boosting your posts to expand your reach. It means updating your Zillow and Realtor.com profiles and building out your ‘Meet the Team’ page on your Help-U-Sell website with photos and bios on all staff.  And, a little icing on the cake:  it means dropping a few bucks each month into Google AdWords.

Differentiation is essential.  It’s why you became a Help-U-Sell broker. And differentiation doesn’t end with low set fee pricing; it should radiate into all areas of your consumer offering.  People contact you because they think you might save them some money; but they will do business with you because you have a better marketing plan, a more savvy approach to the business, and the skill and experience to get them to and through closing.  Build your difference in all areas, and then brag about it!

The function of a listing is to create another and another.  Yes, we market to get listings.  But when we get one, that’s when we pull out all the stops.  If you plan your outreach in the neighborhood to go into high gear the moment a sign goes in a yard, you will often find another listing or two.  Marketing around a competitor’s listing is also powerful (Arounds), but nothing works better than marketing hard around your own.

Every Help-U-Sell Marketing Plan should include:  FSBOs, Expireds, Arounds, Just Listed and Sold, and Cis.  There is no flexibility here.  This is essential.  Beyond this you can pick and choose from things like EDDMs, newspaper ads, radio, online campaigns and fake tatoo logos.

There is a direct relationship between your marketing budget and your revenue.  In other words:  you have to spend money to make money.  If your marketing plan is designed correctly and faithfully executed, you should generate about $10 of revenue for each dollar you spend.  So if your revenue goal for the year is $250,000, you probably need to be spending $25,000 a year on marketing:  about $2,000 a month.

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