Driving Success: The Incredible Power of Agent Goal &Activity Tracking for Increasing a Broker’s Bottom LineBy Jason Blackburn, CEOExecutive SummaryTraditional real estate brokers are facing challenges unlike any we haveseen in the history of the real estate industry. In wake of the economicdowntown experienced in the last six years, we have seen a contractionin both the number of real estate offices and real estate agents, as wellas a declining average sales volume: 1. According to REALTOR® Magazine, the top 10 franchises in 2009 had closed 1,309 offices by the middle of 2011 (Comparison of Real Estate Franchises, 2011), “To increase your 2. The number of active REALTORS® has dropped below one million brokerage’s bottom members for the first time in 8 years with a net loss of over line – your brokerage 400,000 REALTORS® since 2006. must increase the 3. The average sales volume of real estate agents has declined from production of those $1.2 million in 2008 to $1.1 million in 2010, AGENTS producing less 4. The number of agents that sell less than $1 million annually has than $2 million in sales volume to MAXIMIZE increased 11% since 2008, from 44% to 55% of all REALTORS®. their commissionAs you can see, it has become a “Survival of the Smartest” economy, contribution NOW.” – Jason Blackburn, Founder,where best efforts, explanations and good intentions are no longer AgentSuccessTracker.comacceptable. Without question, brokerages that fail to produce beyondexpectations face certain extinction.A Look at Current Options to Increase a Broker’s BottomLineTo increase your bottom line you have 3 options: 1. Reduce Expenses 2. Increase Number of Agents to Increase Fees Collected 3. Increase Agent Sales VolumeReducing Expenses: This is the most tempting option because it is alsothe easiest. A broker can reduce office size to decrease rent, eliminateoffice systems, such as phone systems, to reduce expenses, or become avirtual brokerage and do both.However, these options all require a tradeoff: by downsizing andeliminating systems for agents to use, your brokerage will become lessattractive to a large percentage of agents and risk losing those agents tobrokers that are able to provide the space and systems that agentsexpect.
While a smart decision to look at ways to reduce costs and overhead,this is a defensive move. Each reduction of expenses, if at the expenseof needed tools or systems, might cost more in business than thesavings, sometimes creating a downward trend of no return.Increase Number of Agents: Increasing the number of agents on yourroster is a valid way to increase your bottom line. After all, if you havemore agents, you can collect more fees and earn more commissioncontributions from more agent sales.However, with more agents leaving the industry than joining, theopportunity to recruit newly licensed agents is dramatically moredifficult and competitive. It simply is not smart business to depend onthe idea of new agents to improve your bottom line. “Not too long ago, ifThe second option is to recruit top-producing agents that are currently you did 75% of thewith other brokerages. It makes sense that if you can bring on agents things you did right, itthat have established business, then they can have an immediate was okay. Now if youimpact on your bottom line. The danger with recruiting top agents is don’t do 98% of thosethat they have more leverage than the broker. Simply put, you need things right, some competitor will eat youthem more than they need you, so they are going to only accept a fee for lunch.” – Johnand commission schedule that benefits them more than you, and we Spoelhof, Former CEO ofhave seen many brokers that have recruited top-agents that have IBMactually lost money on these agents upon close examination.Increase Agent Sales Volume: The most attractive way to increase yourbottom line is to increase the sales volume of those agents already onyour roster. Indeed, if you can get more from the agents on your rostertoday, there is no need to reduce expenses for the sake of simplyreducing expenses, you become less dependent on new agentrecruitment, and you increase your leverage with top agents that youwish to recruit.To increase agents’ sales volume, most brokers today have turned toincreasing agent training and individual coaching.But has training improved agent production and your bottom line?The evidence says no. In this economic downturn, more agents havesought professional training. In 2011, the percentage of agents that holdat least one certification increased by 11% over 2010, and 16% over2009; however, during that same time period median income for agentsdeclined 4.5% in 2010 after a 3% decline in 2009. So while designationsand certifications probably make agents better at their job andproviding value to their clients, current industry training has failed tohave a major effect on their sales volume and thus a broker’s bottom
line.Why Training Fails To Increase Agent Sales VolumeYour team’s motivation: A common mistake we have observed is thatbrokers assume their agents want to improve. That is not necessarilytrue. Many agents are quite comfortable with the status quo. As aresult, training that focuses on helping agents to sell better, to sellmore effectively or to sell higher volumes, will produce substandardresults. This is a function of several factors.First is your recruitment. If you recruit agents whom you like but whodo not have the proper belief system and/or DNA to seek constantimprovement, then they may view training as nothing more than anirritating interruption, or simply as a way to spend their time instead ofactively working towards building a real business. To protect yourselfagainst this, make sure that your recruitment system brings highlymotivated people who have demonstrated throughout their life thebehaviors you desire.Another common contributor to unsatisfactory results is brokers’assumptions that their commission plan motivates agents to sell more.You cannot make other adults want to earn more money than theywant to earn. Again, if your agents are satisfied with their currentincome and production level, they will view training as an irritatinginterruption or a welcome relief to not work their business.Failure to change beliefs: Virtually all sales training offered todayfocuses on changing the salesperson’s behaviors. This trainingencourages them to make more calls, to make better calls, to listenbetter, to close better, etc. Unfortunately, you cannot change anadult’s behavior until he/she changes their belief set. People have adifficult time seeing themselves as they actually are— and theirperformance as it really is. In the blur of the day, people fail to seethe hidden forces holding them back from producing the resultsexpected.The sales cycle: Assuming you have impacted the salesperson’s beliefs,very few sales cycles are short enough to allow a company to see anychange in that salesperson ’s behaviors within a reasonable timeframe.If the real estate sales cycle was just a few days long, you would seesome change in your team’s behavior during sales cycles immediatelyfollowing the training. However, since the real estate sales cycle is
longer, then the effect of the training will fade before you can realize achange in your team’s behavior.Some training done today requires agents to perform lead generationduring the training and can result in a measurable increase in suchactions as appointments, listings taken, etc. While the intent is tochange behaviors, the results for the majority of agents are temporary,as they forget to take these actions on a consistent basis after thetraining ends. People have a difficult time remembering to take the right actionsat the right time. In the heat of battle, agents fail to make the rightChoices— and take the right Actions— that will produce the resultsexpected.Understanding the Problem to Discover the SolutionBrokerages can only be their most successful if their agents produceabove average sales volume. It’s not the office location. It’s not brand.It’s not training. It’s not technology. It’s not cool gadgets.To improve your bottom-line, your agents must immediately increasetheir lead generation activity. There is no other “Other” way. Beforeyou can implement a smarter strategy— you have to increase their leadgeneration activity. Before you can implement smarter tactics—youhave to increase their lead generation activity. Before you can growsales and your bottom line—you have to increase their lead generationactivity.Our SolutionAgent Success Tracker is a simple, powerful online activity tracker thatprovides your real estate agents with clear numbers for clear direction.Our dashboard puts all their vital numbers and activities in a centrallocation where they can quickly evaluate where they stand in relationto their monthly goals and see what they need to do each day to meetthem. It’s fast, easy, and inspiring.Agent Success Tracker helps your agents too: 1. Focus on the income goal they wish to achieve 2. Define the actions necessary to achieve their income goals. 3. Stay Accountable to themselves for taking the necessary actions to earn their income goal 4. Identify what they are doing right, what they need to do better, and what they need to do better.
Agent Success Tracker is technology to help your agents SEE preciselywhat’s holding them back from the results they want—at any point inTime.Agent Success Tracker is technology to help your agents REMEMBER tomake Smarter Choices and take Smarter Actions—every single day.How Agent Success Tracker WorksAgents take four simple steps and spend five minutes a day to stay onfocused on lead generation activities and increasing their Sales. 1. Step 1: Enter Income Goal – Agents simply enter in a few details, such as their net income goal, commission split, average sales price, and few other details, and Agent Success Tracker automatically calculates how many homes they need to close, appointments to set, and contacts needed to achieve their income goal. 2. Step 2: Choose Lead Generation Activities – Agents are given over 25 twenty lead generation activities to choose from to track and set daily activity goals based on the results of Step 1. They can track one or all, it is up to them. 3. Step 3: Record Daily Activities & Successes – Agents record lead generation activities as they do them, or at the end of each day, as well as any appointments, agreements, contracts, or closings they had for that day, and Agent Success Tracker updates their progress automatically. 4. Step 4: Making the Numbers Work – Agents and their managers can use these hard numbers to guide their activities. They will always know if they are on the right path to reach their goals, and see what area of their performance is holding them back so they can fix it.Agent Success Tracker’s focus on simplicity, clarity, and ease of usemake it truly unique and make it easier for you to implement in yourbrokerage.How Agent Success Tracker Can Improve Your Bottom LineThe average broker has 35 agents on their roster. If the production ofthe broker follows agent sales volume trends, then the rosterproduction breaks down as follows: Sales above $2 million – 8 agents Sales between $500K and $2million – 12 agents o Sales between $1.5 and $2million – 3 agents o Sales between $1 and $1.5million – 3 agents
o Sales between $500K and $1million – 6 agents Sales under $500K – 15 agentsIt is not realistic to expect every agent to adopt Agent Success Trackerright away. 100% adoption rarely happens with any technology exceptMLS, but you should aim for a 25% adoption rate among all your agentsin your first year, targeting that 60% that sells less than $1million.If you do, than in your first year, if you have 8 agents use Agent SuccessTracker that due to increased activity increase their sales by 50%, thanyou have an increase of $4 million in sales production, which at anaverage agent contribution of 30%, would mean an additional $36,000to your bottom line and a whopping 2,900% return on yourinvestment.What other investment could you make today that could give youthat type of return for so little money?What could you do with that additional income to further invest inyour business?The Choice Is YoursIf you are serious about helping your agents achieve the success theydesire and thereby increasing your bottom line, then Agent SuccessTracker is the only tool that can help you do that without a majorinvestment in time or money.After all, you cannot improve what you cannot measure, and neithercan your agents. Call us today and let’s get you office set up today,because Success Doesn’t Just Happen.About Jason Blackburn, CEOJason Blackburn is a respected and accomplished real estate trainer andspeaker who sold his first house at the age of nineteen. After going from sellinghomes in college to becoming the Vice-President for a national real estatecompany before the age of thirty, Jason founded Laser Focus Training, a realestate training and education company based in Texas. As licensed real estateinstructor in Texas, Jason has trained thousands of real estate professionals onsales and success for independent franchises from Keller Williams Realty,Prudential, Coldwell Banker, RE/MAX, and many others. He has also providedtraining for companies such as KB Home, DR Horton, and Wells Fargo. Jason hasan extensive business and consulting background in sales management, salestraining, entrepreneurship, success coaching and motivational speaking.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @laserfocuscoachLinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonblackburn