All too frequently companies focus on broker tools or agent tools, losing sight of the tools used by great managers. Brokers who truly understand the value of office managers dedicate resources to deliver manager tools that drive company success and agent productivity. These tools fold into three categories: Market Analysis, Sales Analysis, and Agent Effectiveness.
Market Analysis Tools
Market Analysis involves using tools like Terradatum Broker Matrix or Trendgraphix. These tools give office managers access to two specific measurements that are key to success: Competitor Sales Volume and Agent Sales Volume relative to market pace.
The first is a competitive overview of competitor sales volume vs. office sales volume. Managers can compare their office productivity relative to competition in the market to understand pace. Pace is a different measurement than market share, and is more important. Your office will always grow or shrink in sales volume relative to real estate cycles. Pace is the measurement of growth vs. competitive growth. If your office is up 22%, you may be excited. But if competitive offices are up 28% in the same market, you are losing pace. Likewise, an excellent manager may have a 10% loss in sales, but if competitors lost 15%, that manager’s office has out paced competitors by 5%. Sometimes even when you are losing, you win.
The second measurement of success is individual agent pace and Sales Volume. How are each of your agents doing relative to each other. Your top-producing agent may be having a great year, growing business 22% over the prior year. However, a competitor’s top agent may be growing at 30%, out pacing your top producer. Great managers know this, and use these measurement tools to motivate agents in the office, and identify the best recruits from competitors.
Aside from pace, managers can evaluate performance relative to days on market and list to sale ratio.
Great managers use a variety of tools to understand sales. Most MLS Systems and tools like the REALTORS® Property Resource provide managers with the ability to view sales activity on a map. It helps them identify neighborhoods and price points of sale activity so that they can both measure sales performance in hot areas and focus agent prospecting activity in those areas where sales are happening. This is a strategic farming strategy that great managers develop to succeed where others often just tread water.
Measuring Agent Effectiveness is a new tool for most managers. Tools like QSC and Real Satisfied have emerged to give managers consumer feedback on the effectiveness of agents. They identify areas of individual agent strengths and weaknesses. Suspend the debate over the value of agent ratings for consumer, and focus on the value of consumer surveys around agent excellence. With Real Satisfied, you can contrast your agents within the office by looking at satisfaction ratings and draw conclusions about how managers should be training their agent. For example, if you have one agent who uses the MLS CMA tool and another that uses the broker CMA tool – one will have more success than the other. Great managers will focus on producing the best possible outcome in every buyer and seller representation. They will find attributes that lead to success and encourage less successful agents to modify their behavior to drive better outcomes.
By the way, here are some numbers that you may like to know. These are the top marketing tools that drove seller engagement in choosing an Agent – ranked in order of consumer response to Real Satisfied Survey.
- Personalized Direct Mail/Flyer
- Previously dealt with Agent/Broker
- Referred by a friend
- Local Property Magazine
- Social Media
- Office Website
- Other Website
- Internet Search
- Yellow Pages
- Yard Sign
- Radio/Outdoor/TV Advertising
- Phone Call
It is amazing to note that print marketing still leads the way in marketing, occupying the first and forth spot – but newspaper advertising is dead.
To be a great manager, you need to use all of these tools and have regular meetings with every agent in your office where you provide the agent with reports on their performance, and recommendations for success. Try to arrive at 3 focus areas at the conclusion of each review session. In your next meeting, begin by reviewing their success at making changes in the focus areas to determine if outcomes have improved.
By the way, RPR is free to all REATORS®, so log in and check it out. Real Satisfied offers a free trial period too. Give those products a shot in the absence of a technology budget for some of the premium products. If you can show your broker that they are going to work for you, I bet that budget will suddenly appear. If nothing else, get a demo of these products to see what I am talking about if you are unfamiliar with what they do. If you have the products, and are not leveraging them to the fullest, you may want to arrange a training session. All of these companies would be happy to help you out. If you need help choosing a tool that is right for your company, and building a program to deploy the tool effectively, give WAV Group a call.