Going from Agent to Business Owner
By Bonnie Mays
According to the National Assn. of Realtors, too many real estate brokerage companies operate in the red with no profit and no plan for recovery. Or the company is dependent on the broker to generate most of the income. So why would a successful sale agent choose to make the transition to being the broker/owner of his own company? The answer is simple; the opportunities and rewards for sound business leaders in the real estate industry are unlimited.
Most of us come into the real estate business as technicians listing and selling homes. Then we suffer from the Entrepreneurial seizure, as described in The E Myth by Michael Gerber, and decide that we want to have our own Company. For many, the only change is the title on the license. Continuing to be an active agent with a broker’s license can be the undoing of a new company. It prevents the broker from working “on” the business of setting up systems because he must work “in” the business to insure cash flow.
Preparing brokers to become strong business leaders is a huge challenge. Typically, this is not a part of the broker pre-license education, and many new brokers are motivated by “what not to do” as they observed their former broker, thus perpetuating weak companies. Understanding how to set up a company to be systems-driven and not people-dependent requires a commitment of resources and energy that quite frankly are not a part of that decision process.
Writing a business plan, including effective recruiting and retention strategies, understanding the role of a budget, agent accountability, and marketing the company for local market exposure are all objectives that must be implemented for a company to be built to last. When these objectives are in place, it gives the company value and the attraction to build a team of agents.
Where do you find the guidance to accomplish this? Mr. Gerber talks about a turn-key system. In real estate, this turn-key system can be created with the help of a reputable marketing/consulting firm, and/or through the affiliation with a strong national franchise, that educates brokers on becoming strong business leaders. Weak companies are formed when the sole entrepreneur attempts to go it alone. Building a new company is a team effort and requires the support and on-going education of everyone involved.
(Bonnie S. Mays, senior vice president, Realty World, Inc., and Dean of the REALTY WORLD Academy is a national educator with a passion for Broker development. A successful Broker/Owner, Bonnie spends her time consulting with brokers on issues that relate to profitability, recruiting, marketing, and agent accountability. Bonnie holds a Masters Degree in Education.)
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