I’m about to make a rather bold statement; the success of your brokerage depends on your credibility, more specifically the credibility of your agents. Okay, this is a pretty simplistic statement, but it begs the question; what defines credibility? In simple terms one could define credibility as delivering on your promises. But there is so much more to it. Being credible also means being trustworthy. In the real estate industry, developing trust is a difficult job. Let’s face it, there are a few people in the business who are lured by the possibility of easy money. They make deals at all costs, often with little concern for their clients. They are the ones who make it difficult for the rest of us. While there are processes in place to penalize them, often the damage is done and good realtors get painted with a negative brush. In this week’s office meeting, I spoke of the challenges of maintaining a good reputation.
In an ever changing marketplace, the survival of your brokerage will be decided by how your agents perform. Therefore it is critical to constantly reinforce a very simple message; Hold yourself to a higher standard, return calls promptly, be honest, walk away from bad deals, treat other agents with fairness, stay educated and informed on market conditions, network positively with others, treat your business as a business, and commit to working 40+ hours a week. Performing these “tasks” ups your “Credibility Quotient”. People will take notice. Your agents will gain a reputation of being consummate professionals. The public will want to engage you, and other agents will beat a path to your door.
As a broker owner or manager, the work you do at defining your “brand” will also play a significant role in raising your Credibility Quotient. It is important, therefore, to be able to back up claims about your success with easily accessible evidence. The best way to do this is to include recommendations from the public in your marketing materials or your website. While real estate companies are often defined by the agents that work for them, I believe it is increasingly important that your company, as a whole, develop a personality that the public can identify with. Your voice, be it online or through a personable and engaging spokesman, must deliver key information that the public can rely on. This can be achieved through successful blogging and public relations efforts. The end game should be to let the buying or selling public know that your company is involved. Regurgitating information about market conditions is fine but by doing so you are just copying everyone else. To develop a strong brand, you have to create content that is different and unique. In other words…… Take a stand and be consistent.
With the incredible choice that exists in the real estate marketplace, the strength of your brand is very important, and if you are a leader, rather than a follower, your company will reap the benefits. Increasing your Credibility Quotient is a daily job. It plays out in everything you do. But remember that it doesn’t happen over night.
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Bosley Real Estate Ltd.
Over the last five months I have been getting more and more comfortable running the occasional office meeting. Standing up in front of 50 or 60 people can be nerve-racking at the best of times especially when you are talking to a roomful of over achievers. The key to a good meeting is to be one part entertainer, one part informer and one part motivator.
On the entertainment front, well, all I can say is that you must have fun and the best way to do that is to poke fun at yourself. In my case, my hair. I am in desperate need of a haircut. It looks like it has been styled by Carrot Top’s electrician. I’m here all week, try the veal! Ba Boom.
This week I had a lot of great material. Last week I participated in three separate events; RealtorQuest and The Toronto Real estate Board’s Annual General meeting. Real Estate Bar Camp T.O. and our monthly senior management meeting. The RealtorQuest event was mostly boring but there were a few great nuggets. I was shocked to hear some very interesting statistics on real estate agents in Toronto. While I was surprised at what TREB’s profit and loss statement looks like, I was more interested in some statistics surrounding agents. There are currently 30,000 agents registered. One fifth of all those agents did not sell one property in 2009. Only more inconceivable than that is the fact that 50% of agents failed to sell more than 4 properties last year. Well that explains a lot. If you use the standard 90/10 rule and apply it to the 15000 agents that hopefully live above the poverty line, then you are looking at roughly 1500 agents in the city who would be considered true standouts in their field. In the grand scheme of things, that is a very small number especially when you consider there were under 90,000 transactions in the GTA in 2009. It is clear, that management must support successful agents and encourage and motivate those starting out.
Real Estate Bar Camp T.O. was a small event attended by fewer than a few hundred agents. We were all drawn together to discuss social media and the role it plays in real estate. Great guest speakers, great topics, and a wonderful sharing of ideas. It occurred to me that transparency is a good thing if we are all interested in bettering and promoting our business. With many of these organized events, I go to get a better understanding of the main topic. If I come away with one good idea, I feel like it was time well spent. Luckily, there were several people in our monday morning meeting who had attended the event and so I encouraged them to share with the group the one or two ideas that stood out for them. It was fantastic to get different views of what attendees liked and focused on. At our meetings, audience participation is strongly encouraged.
Finally, our management meeting was an opportunity to remind everyone that, above all, our goal is to keep our company relevant. We discuss the challenges that exist and brainstorm on ways to stay ahead. While things like Social Media are important, we can’t let it overwhelm us. There are other issues that are key to keeping us successful. Our job is to make sure our agents know critical policy changes. Our firm is extremely lucky to have many members of the management team involved in various levels of organized real estate. This is a business that must constantly adapt to changes in market conditions. Strategies that worked last month, may not work with the same effect this month. Adapt or die should be the mantra of a successful brokerage.
finally, I would like to congratulate, Richard Silver, one of our top sales representatives at Bosley Real Estate, who was acclaimed as the new President of the Toronto Real estate Board. This is an amazing achievement. Richard is the fourth President of TREB who is also a member of the Bosley Real Estate team.
As always, the opinions expressed in this blog may not represent the views of Bosley Real Estate Ltd, Brokerage.