If you're a real estate pro looking to up your sales, it may be time to turn a scrutinizing eye to your relationships. This was the topic covered in our recent webinar, "Essential Relationships to Increase Sales," sponsored by Quicken Loans.
The webinar, held August 1, ran down ways you can use relationships within your team, and outside parties, to boost your business and leverage more sales. Speakers included: Ali Berry, broker/owner of Quest Realty in Troy, Mich; Gil Torres, broker/owner of Exclusive Realty and Mortgage in West Sacramento; Tom Dempsey, divisional vice president of National Sales for Quicken Loans; and was moderated by Cleve Gaddis, leader of one of Georgia's top 10 real estate teams and coach with Workman Success Systems.
Here is a rundown of takeaway tips for building better business relationships, gleaned from the webinar's panel of pros:
Tune In to Feedback
"Feedback is a gift," says Tom Dempsey. When working—be it with your team, or a new client—always listen to feedback with an open ear, and learn to accept constructive criticism with grace, or at least, gratitude. This will build trust and, ultimately, stronger relationship bonds.
Respect the Power of Teams
Ali Berry notes that teams are important, and regardless of your brokerage structure, it's critical to look at your team as an even group of players all invested in one another.
"I'm very selective with who I bring on to our team," says Berry, "I try to look at everything in our business as a team aspect; how can we help everyone get better? We set up our entire company around that sense."
Let Go of Ego
Give your team members recognition when it's due. According to Berry, to retain happy, high level agents, "they need to be treated as business owners—you can't treat them like employees." He treats his agents like independent contractors running their own business within the parameters of his business.
Enable Efficient Agents
Set up systems that'll free up space for agents to do what's essential for them to do their job. Let them communicate with the client, build relationships, and have a transaction coordinator do the other essentials.
Build Relationships with Vendors
To expand your reach and boost your sales, try building relationships with vendors, suggests Gil Torres, whose company forms foundational relationships with people they typically wouldn't see until escrow: roofers, termite removers, etc. He uses these relationships to offer services to clients in advance, and his team acquires these expenses.
"We pay for those services, of course at a discounted fee our consumer isn't aware of," says Torres. His clients feel taken care of, he's building bonds with local businesses and supporting local vendors. This service is a little something extra other agents may not be doing, which gives his team leverage, and leads to more sales.
Invest in In-House Marketing
You can save time and even expenses by building an in-house marketing and creative service team to meet your needs. "All our marketing is done in house," says Torres. This includes photography, drone footage, 3D imaging, and more.
Torres explains that doing this channels the fees they were paying from outside third-party vendors into his own company, but even better, allows his team to work on their own timeline. "Before, we were on everyone else's schedule." No more waiting for a videographer to have free time to go capture that walk-through. Now, you can send your own team in.
Create an Experience
Overall, real estate is more than just a service. It's an experience. Consumers are not looking to just buy goods and services," says Dempsey. "They're looking for companies and individuals to create an experience for them. Look at what Amazon has done. You have to dial up your service. And quite honestly, relationships do that."
Learn more from the webinar in the recording below:
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