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Texas REALTORS® offers courses to help brokers plan and measure business goals: Building a Business Plan that Gets Results; and Successful Business Plan: Where are You Now? The courses are part of the Certified Real Estate Brokerage (CRB) Manager designation, but agents and brokers can enroll in these individual classes without pursuing the designation. Visit texasrealestate.com/findacourse to register for these and other classes.
As a broker, you’re watching your performance numbers closely. You know what your brokerage needs to work on. But what can you do to bolster those results and build a more successful business?
Two longtime real estate educators break down how you can improve your metrics. Tim Beary is the broker/owner of Beary Nice Homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He also teaches the course Successful Business Plan: Where Are You Now? Pat Strong, a San Antonio-based broker and real estate coach, was named Texas REALTORS® Educator of the Year in 2006 and received the lifetime-achievement Excellence in Education Award in 2016 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2020.
Tap Into Spheres of Influence for More Conversations
Where do sales come from? Appointments. And where do appointments come from? Contact with new and existing clients—the top of the sales funnel.
How do your agents keep track of the people they talk to? If your brokerage doesn’t have a customer relationship management system, get one and train everyone to use it, Strong says. Otherwise you are not keeping up with your business in a systematic way. “I know of agents with sticky notes all over their desks. They write their contacts’ information on the notes. Do you think they’re following up with them regularly? No.”
Agents should be keeping in touch with their spheres of influence. Strong advocates sending video texts. Focusing on your database is a more effective way to reach people than cold calling, Beary adds.
How much time are your agents spending on lead generation and nurturing? He recommends devoting three hours to it every workday. There is no such thing as spending too much time on it.
“One of my real estate coaches early in my career advised that you should lead generate until you have an appointment, and that’s your business day,” he says. “If three hours isn’t enough to get a lead and an appointment, just keep doing it.”
Require Practicing Scripts to Help Conversion Rates
Many real estate agents think spending two hours on the phone is an indicator of success, Beary says. “It’s not the hours on the phone; it’s the number of conversations you’re having and then the conversion rate of those conversations into appointments and then signed agreements.”
Agents should aim to convert 10% to 20% of all conversations into appointments, according to Beary.
Newer agents are more focused on booking appointments and building rapport. They are still working on their scripts and dialogues. Beary says they should aim to turn half to 75% of their appointments into either buyer representation or seller listing agreements. More experienced agents are nurturing their databases and are primarily booking appointments with properly qualified leads who are highly likely to sign. Seasoned agents should aim to convert 80% to 90% of their appointments into agreements.
“There’s a direct correlation between practicing scripts and dialogues and improving your conversion rate,” he says. “Get comfortable with the conversations. Make your conversations more effective and efficient.”
You can train agents on listing presentations, Strong says. If you don’t have time to train new hires, record your trainings and build a training library over time.
Ensure Correct Pricing to Close More Sales
How many listings did your brokerage close in a given period? Why didn’t some of those homes sell, or why did they take longer to sell? It may be that the agents didn’t know how to price the homes correctly, Strong says.
Your agents need to study their markets closely, Beary says. “What is going on in your market area? What is the listing inventory and the average days on market for that inventory? What are the sales prices? All of that would be MLS data.”
From there, your agents should know if homes are selling at, above, or even below listing price. Homes that are appropriately priced for their markets will sell, especially in this current market.
Know the Market to Plan More Effectively
Beary recommends brokers review listing inventory closely. How many days were your brokerage’s listings on the market? How many showings did each listing get? How many showings took place in a particular neighborhood or ZIP code? These data points should give you an idea of what to expect in the market—and what to expect from your agents.
Whether sales goals are personal or company-wide, put them in writing. You’ll know if the goals are too low if you surpass them too easily.
You don’t pull sales goals out of thin air. Sales goals are aspirational but rooted in business needs and past performance. Sales goals can motivate agents and incentivize improvement.
Whether sales goals are personal or company-wide, put them in writing, Strong advises. You’ll know if the goals are too low if you surpass them too easily. She knows of a brokerage that beat its annual sales goal in March. Annual goals should be reviewed quarterly, she says.
At Beary’s company, yearly goals are broken down into monthly and then weekly goals. Agents review their goals each week to make sure they’re on track for the month and review each month to be on track for the year.
Pay attention to which agents remain near the required minimum. They may need additional coaching or training…
“A typical business planning strategy that I’ve heard from many an instructor is: How much business do you think you can do this year? Now double it,” Beary says. The steps to complete a transaction remain the same whether you close 50 transactions a year or 100. Your mindset and motivation have a lot to do with your success in the real estate industry. So aim higher.
Manage Agents to Improve Big Picture
Coaching only goes so far. Your rules and expectations can set the course for the firm.
Many brokerages have a minimum number of transactions each agent needs to close per month. Both educators advised keeping track of each agent’s closed sales.
Pay attention to which agents remain near the required minimum, Strong says. They may need additional coaching or training on tools such as REALTORS® Property Resource. Bringing underperforming agents up to speed could make a big difference. If an agent continues to lag, you may need to consider parting ways with that person.
According to Beary, your metrics should be your business drivers. “Really, a real estate agent only has five jobs every day that are dollar producing activities: practice scripts and dialogues, generate leads, go on appointments, write contracts, and close sales.”