Attributes of Great Real Estate Firms

Last week, Steve Murray and Nicolai Kolding closed out the REAL Trends Gathering of Eagles conference in Dallas, TX with a presentation highlighting, in their opinions, the key attributes of great real estate firms. The audience, which consisted mainly of some of the largest and most productive brokerages in the country, listened intently. At the end of the presentation, the audience seemed to agree that their observations were “right on the money.” I do as well, and thought they were worth sharing.

They identified 5 key attributes.

1. Strong Leadership

Leadership was determined to be the single greatest predictor of success.

2. Ability to attract and retain talent

Research conducted by Real Trends concludes there is a direct correlation between an increase in closed sides and an increase in the number of sales associates.

3. Focus on your model

There is no evidence that one business model is any better than another. What is key is choosing your business model, committing to it and building value around it. Companies that try to be all things to all people ultimately disappoint themselves and others. Five types of business models were identified:

  • Graduated commission plans
  • High commission concept
  • Capped company dollar
  • “Freedom shops”
  • Online and/or discount models

An interesting observation made was that the more commission plans a company has seems to directly relate to less company dollar. In other words, more plans equals fewer company dollars. The advice given was to keep commission plans simple with limited options that stay true to your operating model and value proposition.

4. Customer Service Focus

We have been focusing the last 10 years on creating favorable online impressions with our clients. However, when human contact is disappointing, that favorable impression is lost. Truly successful tools and services recognize that customers demand responsiveness. We have to do a better job at customer service if we want to be a great real estate firm.

5. Ancillary services are part of the core offering, not add ons

Firms can no longer view mortgage, title, escrow and insurance as add ons. They are necessary core competencies to the successful real estate firm.

I think these 5 attributes make a great score card for any real estate broker to do a self-evaluation on their business. How would you rate your firm in these areas? How would your agents rate you?

Thanks to the REAL Trends team for a great conference.

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