What I learned in Year 5 of Owning a Real Estate Brokerage

WKRP Indy Real Estate 5th Birthday

It was one of my most challenging and rewarding years in Real Estate, but not to be confused with being the best or worst.  It was in the middle somewhere.  It will never compare with the worst year so far and that is a great thing, since the worst year I should have taken my Realtor toys and gone home.  So what did I learn this year and how can I take it to year 6 or beyond?

Size does not matter-There is essentially no difference between the solo independent broker and the large 500 agent real estate company in terms of capability, expertise and service.  I have prided myself on having a fantastic referral system and that may be a big part of it.  But to find the difference, which I look for often, there is none and there never will be.  One Real Estate pro can offer his clients each and every service that a huge outfit can offer, with the same consistency and effectiveness all day long.  Don’t be fooled!

Part Time is Part Time-Some people have had great success making extra money selling a couple of houses a year on the side and a few lucky ones have done big business.  But overall the return on time invested was no more apparent than this past year.  The agent that was out hustling and networking got the deals far quicker than the part-time agent.  Part time agents are just fine if that is the expectation, but watching a full-time agent steam roll into 2013 was more than impressive.  It was obvious the agents that stuck to their plan during the hard times and when their number was picked, they were more than ready to pounce.  Huge credit to those that stuck with it for sure.

Realtors Hate Technology-Hates a strong word but it seems so true.  With the development of apps and social media several years ago, every serious agent should already have adapted them into their daily business.  But they have not and they won’t.  Realtors are always playing catch up and it’s from the NAR to MIBOR and on down to the Brokers and Agents.  We still talk about the “new dropbox” in our monthly publications and I can only name a couple dozen that use social media as an ongoing tool.  But this is ok because those that chose to accept that fact that it’s not data we are protecting but the process and strategy,  will be miles ahead of a competition.

The Niche Worked-I set out to be known as a SR32 in Westfield expert 5 years ago.  As development comes back, I can’t tell you the number of people who consider me that and rely on my knowledge to make major decisions.  Having the nerve and patience to stick to a specific market and client base was looked upon as crazy but by doing so I set myself far apart from the average, which is great when the majority of agents are preaching the same “never a better time to buy” hooha.  There are a lot of us doing the same stuff but it is our duty to separate what we do from the others and without a niche you are settling for less than average. Pick a niche, stick with it and be better at it then anyone else in the world.

Some Homebuilders are Brilliant-Several years ago homebuilders started to disappear and leave large neighborhoods up to dry.  Many of them went out of  business losing fortunes and but creating big opportunity for the powerful.  Todays homebuilder is a lean mean client grabbing machine.  They have come back with a vengeance and are offering once again a premium product at a fantastic price.  They regained the ability to turn fence riding sellers into fast buyers with heavy incentives and unbeatable purchase options.  They have also made it a breeze for agents to shuffle them their new clients.  I don’t know any new home builder agents that are out in the market hustling, I really don’t.  Each one I know is busy managing a steady stream of new buyers walking thru those model doors on Sunday afternoon looking for a reason to list their home.  An amazing comeback for now..

I can only hope to pay attention as much in the next 12 months as this and will be a mile ahead if I learn even a fraction.  Thanks for another year….

-curt