Time to Reinvest in Your Business
MAR Staff | Oct 29, 2013
By Rick Hoffman, Senior Director
I’m sure you are as glad as I am to see the positive signs in the real estate market. After seven plus years of fighting to stay alive, the prospect of a more normalized market and the potential of an upward climb in unit sales and increasing sales prices is like finding a cool pool of water in the middle of a desert.
While no one can predict the size, speed and potential of the recovery it is clear that many positive signs are either here or on the immediate horizon.
There is another challenge that an improving market brings to all of us practicing real estate either as company owners or sales associates. We need to embrace this recovery with a solid business plan and that includes reinvesting in our business.
The past seven years did not allow many of us to keep up with our facilities, our equipment, our technology and our staffing. Face it: we all had to be lean and mean in order to survive and be around to play a part in the recovery.
So what is the profile of the company or individual agent that will take maximum advantage of the recovery?
First of all let me tell you what it is not. It is not the company or individual that immediately goes out and burdens themselves with debt, fixed overhead, ill advised technology, and marketing investments that are not well researched. But as with any product or service, if you are not investing and improving, you are decaying and dying.
Proper investment starts with research. You need to fully understand your competitive landscape and what it will take for you to be successful - this includes what your competitors are doing that could have a negative effect on your business. You also need to analyze what you are doing. Be honest with yourself when you look at the returns you are achieving for your physical locations, external promotion, and internal marketing and support..
Once you have the data it would be wise to have someone from the outside do an operational review of your company or your individual practice. An outsider’s view will bring a dose of reality to your operation and might be the key to your maximizing your success going forward. You see, an outsider does not have any vested, ego driven stake in anything in your company or practice. You will hear the truth and the truth shall set you free.
The last step is to formalize your business plan including the reinvestment in your business. This reinvestment could include new locations, remodeling of existing locations, updating of equipment, updating of technology, revamping of internal and external marketing, and a critical view of staffing all the way from a receptionist to the CEO.
It is clear in any industry that those who continually conduct critical reviews of their operations stay in the competitive lead in their industry. Operating a real estate company or individual practice is no different. One thing is for certain if you stay informed and in touch, you will stay in the lead.