“It’s only when the tide goes out that you learn who’s been swimming naked.” ― Warren E. Buffett
For many realtors in Canada, the many years-long strong market conditions had some believing the tide would never go out.
Now that it has ebbed to its lowest point in years and agents can no longer simply put a listing on the MLS to receive multiple offers— many agents are floundering.
While some may struggle, the best agents buckle down and learn from those who have weathered many a storm before this one. Inevitably there’ll be a flight to quality— quality leadership, marketing, tools, training, technology, and agent support.
After more than 40 years in real estate, the advice I give to all those struggling agents is find a good broker.
Finding a good broker
A good broker can make an enormous difference in helping agents regain their footing, chart a course and strategize for a lifetime of success.
A good broker can provide you with the tech and marketing tools but also the training, coaching and mentorship these tougher markets require. Accountability for daily prospecting, whether through your broker or with an accountability partner, will keep you on track to both short and long-term success.
A good broker will help you create a business plan, map out your time, and show you how the hours you spend prospecting and doing the work will result in a steady flow of business, no matter what dips the market might take.
Stacking your toolbox
Not all brokers offer the same value proposition to their agents, so by taking the time to seek out one who emphasizes mentorship, an agent willing to learn from their wealth of experience will swim instead of sink and build the confidence to face the market head-on.
Another advantage of being with a good broker is the fully formed tech stack they can provide. These can be the most important tools in an agent’s toolbox, with websites (your online resume that every new prospect you meet will go looking for), CRM with built-in market reports and presentation tools, automated social media posting and a recognizable and trusted brand.
It’s no longer good enough to have a half-completed profile on Realtor.ca— your average home seller is going to want to know that you have experience and an area of specialization, and in a slower market, a professional-looking site and great presentation tools are what sets you apart.
“Realtors can be islands unto themselves, and that was even more true over the past few years.”
Besides the mentorship and the tech, the benefit of finding a good broker is the chance to join a team of agents that provide the environment needed to succeed.
Realtors can be islands unto themselves, and that was even more true over the past few years. But if you’ve got an office to go into where you can lean on the management, you’re going to be so much more successful than an agent who’s never had a place where they can go to find the support of the right leader.
At the end of the day, being a real estate agent can be an incredibly lucrative and rewarding career. It’s the slower markets that truly separate the great drivers of success from the passengers who need to rely on a strong market for success.
If you’re looking for a place to start, consider these steps:
- Plan on interviewing at least three brokerages that serve the area you would like to work in and do some research on the brands. It’s easy enough to call the brokerage and set the meetings, but be sure to ask the right questions when you sit down with them.
- Ask them what their success rate is when taking on new agents and what specifically they do to train and coach them. Remember that most new agents don’t make it to their second anniversary, but a great broker improves the odds of that greatly.
- Get a good understanding of their technology and marketing tools, and be specific – ask about their websites, CRM, presentation tools, and social media marketing; you want to find as robust a package as possible because these are the tools that will help you be successful with no extra cost to you.
By taking the time to seek out mentorship, learn some solid business planning strategies and avail themselves of the tech stack offered by their brokerage, any agent can find steadiness in their career to withstand ever-changing interest rates and legislation.
The right broker is out there for every agent— they just have to commit to finding them.
Todd Shyiak is vice president, national network development, Century 21 Canada, where he oversees operations including the selection and servicing of all technology and training, leads national recruiting and retention initiatives and actively pursues M&A opportunities for C21 brokers. He has been in the real estate industry for decades. As an agent, Todd sold over 850 homes and condos. He has managed and mentored many agents, sold MLS systems into dozens of boards across Canada and the U.S., consulted and created broker technology and tools and ran his own agent recruiting company.