When we set out to build Agent Engine, we conducted several interviews with agents. We wanted to dig deep and understand precisely where (and how best) we could serve the real estate industry.
We spoke with agents who are just getting their feet wet to agents who have been selling their entire life. It was essential that our research was thorough and represented as wide a range as possible.
While brokerages are big on collaborations and do as much as they can to support their team, there was a resounding sentiment that came as a surprise to us: Agents said they feel like independent contractors.
We dug a little deeper with them on that, and it turns out that many have accepted this reality and embrace the freedom they have as a result. Smart agents have identified the opportunity and have figured out that the future of real estate and the key to their success is building a personal enterprise.
Your Competitive Advantage
A few years ago, Sally Hogshead keynoted the conference our company was hosting. She’s a New York Times bestselling author and former advertising executive who commissioned Kelton Global to research why some brands are more captivating than others.
Her personality test, How to Fascinate, helps people discover how the world sees them—or their business. Sally believes that in a competitive environment, the most fascinating option always wins and that the greatest value you can add is to become more of yourself. She says:
“Different is better than better. Being the best isn’t enough if nobody notices or cares. Stop trying to be THE best. Start being YOUR best.”
The first step in building a personal enterprise is understanding how difficult it is to be excellent in everything we do. It’s important to realize that there’s not enough time in the day to be doing #allthethings for #allthepeople.
Quite frankly, it’s inefficient and certainly not in anyone’s best interest. After all, agents are responsible for what they do and how they present themselves to potential buyers and sellers.
We Live in a Different World
While it’s possible things at some point might return to normal, I’m not convinced there’s such a thing anymore. These changes might be more permanent than we think, so we’re better off accepting this new reality.
No matter what happens in the foreseeable future, our dependency on the Internet and social media to communicate and conduct business will be prevalent as ever.
The question is, “Are you ready for it?”
Building a Personal Enterprise
It seems reasonable that we will see fewer open houses, more virtual tours, and “drive-thru” closings from now on. Yes, that’s a thing. This new way of life for agents might feel inconvenient and challenging, but the smart ones will alternatively see it as an opportunity.
There is a seismic shift taking place in the real estate industry, and agents who look to build a personal enterprise will find themselves positioned much better and further ahead than those who don’t.
For those forward-thinkers, three things will make the difference:
1. Be willing to take risks.
Most businesses are formed (and succeed) as a result of the founder taking a risk. Even in the proverbial company of one, this is often true. Maybe it’s a small step outside of your comfort zone or a giant leap out of a job you no longer enjoy. There is a great reward for those willing to take a chance.
2. Incorporate a support system.
They say that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It also wasn’t made by the hands of a single worker, either. Even though it’s a personal enterprise you are after, surrounding yourself with folks who can help you get from point A to point B is often the best approach.
3. Understand the value of a digital presence.
A younger generation of entrepreneurs is looking to get into real estate. Not only are they willing to do whatever it takes to compete with you, they understand the power of the Internet and how to leverage technology to make that happen. You must have a website representing your brand and an active social media presence to stay relevant.
Owning your own business and operating under terms that you decide can be quite rewarding. Yes, there are always unexpected bumps in the road, but those can lead to learning experiences.
Life is a journey, and so is running a business. By building a personal enterprise, you can determine just how far (and fast) you go. All you need—dare I say it—is the right engine to get you there.
In the meantime, I encourage you to read The Rise of the Personal Enterprise—an article written by Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger, in which he suggests:
“The best way to predict the future is to create your best personal version of it.”