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5 Steps to Bring Your Real Estate Brokerage Into the 21st Century

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The real estate brokerage model has its historic roots in the late 19th and early 20th century. Unfortunately, some brokerages are still stuck in the good old days, with systems, processes, and marketing that hasn’t changed much over the decades. If you want to be more effective in earning clients, recruiting agents, and growing profits, it’s time to bring your real estate brokerage into the 21st century.

Your Systems and Processes Update

If you’re still clinging to the same old, same old way of doing real estate, it’s time to shift gears. From operations to marketing to transactions, today’s tools and techniques can make every day more efficient, more profitable, and more meaningful. Here are some of the essentials you need to update the way you work.

Branding Your Brokerage

If you have not yet developed a clear brand identity, it’s time to do so. If you have a well-defined vision of your company’s brand, you may just need to set it down in a brand guide and outline its various elements. If you’re not sure where to start, it may be a good idea to work with a marketing company that specializes in branding.

Branding includes everything about the way you present yourself and your business, from the quality of your business cards to the logo to the font to the company’s colors and more. It means defining your core values and incorporating them into the way you do business. It means having an elevator pitch when people ask what makes your brokerage different from everyone else—and making sure everyone in your brokerage is an effective ambassador for your brand.

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Updating Your Brokerage’s Technology

From transaction management platforms to a gorgeous, contemporary website, technology drives real estate. Lead gen, client care, and workflow all require great tech and training that ensures everyone knows how to use the available technology.

Clients today are busier than ever and they are looking for a seamless experience throughout their real estate transaction. The better your technology is integrated into your brokerage, the more effectively you can streamline the client experience. That results in positive buzz for you and your agents—and more referrals from happy buyers and sellers.

Leveraging Content Marketing

So many brokers are still preaching the virtue of cold calls and door knocking while putting no time or effort into the one marketing initiative that would provide 24-hour outreach and warm leads instead of cold ones. Content marketing—blogs, video, podcasts, social media, and more—is an essential part of almost every industry’s marketing initiative, but it barely registers with most real estate brokers and agents.

Not only should your brokerage have content, your agents should as well. Each agent has different niches, designations, and levels of expertise. That means each agent has something to contribute to the online conversation. Help facilitate and encourage your agents to create content designed to promote their own business—and yours.

Investing in Company Culture

How you do things, how you treat people, and how you define yourself as a company—all of these are elements of company culture. Providing training, defining best practices, and setting your agents up for success are all elements that contribute to positive experiences and outcomes. 

What happens when someone makes a mistake? How do you treat your agents when they are going through a major life event—either good or bad? What happens at onboarding? How do you treat your top producers? Your lowest producers?  All of these and more are elements of culture that can make or break your agents and your brokerage.

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Rewarding Innovation

Many real estate agents say that when they have a new idea or a new way of doing things, they are told: “that’s not how we do it here.” If you’ve ever heard someone at your brokerage say this—or, worse yet, if you’re the one saying it—it’s time for a shift in your mindset and behavior. 

Newer agents, whether just out of school or career switchers, bring a wealth of insight and a fresh perspective to the practice of real estate. Some of today’s biggest names started out as newbie agents with good ideas about the use of video for marketing, social media for networking, or workflow and efficiency for day-to-day operations. Take advantage of these fresh eyes and fresh voices to innovate and bring new ideas to your brokerage.

You don’t have to change everything at once, but being open to change—and welcoming some of the possibilities it brings—can make a huge difference in your bottom line and in your day-to-day enjoyment of running your brokerage. Stop living in “the way it used to be” or “the way we used to do it.” Start looking for ways to move forward, grow, and develop.