By Jon Cheplak
One of my clients shared a great quote with me the other day: “Lack of preparation on your part doesn’t create an emergency for me.”
The media is having fun with “the air leaking out of the bubble” babble. How are you dealing with this in your organization? Forget the media talk, let’s talk about the reality of your income and expenses. Things are a changing, aren’t they? Let’s see, when we have experienced a marketplace in most parts of the country that is unlike anything we may ever see in our lifetime; that which goes up, must come down. Now what?
Did your expenses go up in a trajectory that mapped to your sales? Are you operating with the same expense structure, but sales have now decreased? So what do we do?
Agents are experiencing the decline or normalization of the market, what a great time to talk to them about making a change. When things were great and only getting better, it was probably a bit tougher to get agents to change companies. Now is the time to capitalize on this opportunity. You should be able to recruit a good group of agents during the change.
Let me ask you a pointed question. What kind of skill level does an agent need to have in one of the hottest markets in history? Not a lot, right? Great, so what are you doing about building the skill-sets of your agents in today’s market? It’s going to get competitive, if it hasn’t already, inventories will rise and a lot of agents will leave the business. Be the business-building and skill-building leader in your marketplace. Many people say that they want to be the No. 1 firm in their marketplace. What does that look like? No. 1 is the company that can build the skills of its agents to increase their skills, no matter the market.
That probably sent shivers down your spine. How do you go back and cut out some of the services, marketing and advertising without losing agents? You tell your agents the truth about what has taken place in the market and how it has affected the company. Then, you make responsible decisions, with input from an agent advisory council, around what areas you are going to reduce expenses.
ACQUIRE OR MERGE
As the market tightens up, many offices that popped up in the last couple years will feel it first. Set meetings with each and every one of those brokers and explore the opportunities to acquire them or merge them into your organization. Don’t wait until they tell their agents. Start building a relationship, today, so that you are first in line if anything changes with their company.
Not rocket science, just basic principles to follow. Be the No. 1 training and business-building company in your market. Be a consistent prospector, interviewer and, ultimately, recruiter. Quality human resource equals more sales, regardless of what kind of market you are experiencing.