Masterclass: How can real estate brokerages cut costs & grow their brand in a tight market?

In today’s tumultuous real estate market, brokerages are facing the Herculean task of scaling their brand while also keeping a keen eye on expenses. An insightful masterclass led by Audrey Whittington (VP/Head of Sales & Partnerships, Local Logic), featuring expert views from Chad Oschner (Broker/Owner, RE/MAX Alliance), Michael Phelan (VP Marketing & Technology Consulting, T3 Sixty), and Rob Love (Director of Marketing Technology, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada), offered valuable insights on this subject.

Let’s delve into the key takeaways that brokerages must consider for sustainable growth.

💡 Key takeaways:

  • Co-Sponsored Marketing: Collaboration Amplifies Reach:
    • Pooling resources for co-sponsored marketing initiatives maximizes value and is cost-effective.
    • Particularly effective for large, national brokerages with multiple agents or branches.
  • A La Carte Services: Customization Cuts Waste
    • Segment tools into different categories like ‘deluxe’ or ‘enterprise’.
    • Agents share the cost for the tools they actually use, reducing company expenses.
  • Tech Stack Selection: Brand Alignment
    • The choice of technological tools should align with the brokerage’s objectives and brand.
    • Interoperability among the tools is crucial for efficiency.
  • Agent Training: ROI-Driven Approach
    • Investment in training leads to effective tool utilization and better ROI.
    • Agents with “skin in the game” are more likely to use tools effectively.
  • Brand and Recruitment: People as Brand Ambassadors
    • Recruitment should focus on agents who resonate with the brand’s values and objectives.
    • The brand is represented by the quality and alignment of its agents.
  • Adapting to Market Conditions: Flexibility is Key
    • Market volatility calls for reallocation of staffing duties and reevaluation of technology adoption.
    • Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) are viable options for both cost-cutting and brand scaling.

Watch our latest Masterclass: “How can real estate brokerages cut costs & grow their brand in a tight market?”

Co-Sponsored Marketing: The Power of Collaboration

When markets tighten, marketing budgets often find themselves on the chopping block.

One alternative to this dilemma is co-sponsored marketing initiatives. For companies with a sprawling national presence and multiple agents or branches, a smart idea would be to pool resources.

Not only would this distribute the financial burden, but it would also amplify the reach and impact of marketing campaigns.

It’s a win-win situation where shared costs lead to shared benefits, boosting each dollar invested.

An ‘A La Carte’ Menu for Services: Tailoring to Need

When budget scrutiny begins, underutilized tools often emerge as glaring line items.

To tackle this, brokerages could take an ‘à la carte’ approach, akin to a customized service menu. Agents select services categorized under different tiers like ‘deluxe’ or ‘enterprise,’ sharing the costs for tools they actually intend to use.

This approach maintains availability for those who find value in the services without being a financial drain on the brokerage.

The Right Tech Stack: An Extension of Your Brand

The panelists also brought attention to the tech stack, a crucial but often overlooked aspect of real estate brokerages. A tech stack isn’t just a set of tools; it reflects your brokerage’s ethos and objectives. Each component, from CRM software to lead generation solutions, should be selected with the utmost care.

They should harmonize with each other for efficient interoperability and be easy for staff to manage and use.

Training and Agent Adoption: An Investment, Not an Expense

All panelists agreed that training should never be compromised. An agent’s proficiency with tools directly correlates to ROI. When agents have some “skin in the game,” like co-sharing the cost for a premium tool, they are more inclined to use it efficiently and may even become in-house advocates or trainers.

Adapting to Market Conditions: The Value of Flexibility

There’s an old business saying that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.

The panelists discussed focusing on tools that offer the most impact and tracking usage metrics to negotiate better terms with vendors. Essentially, it’s all about optimizing for the most efficient and effective solutions.

The fluctuating market conditions call for a nimble approach to business. Strategies such as reallocating staffing duties, rethinking tech adoption by focusing on solutions that drive tangible value, such as Local Logic’s industry-leading SDKs, and contemplating mergers and acquisitions (M&As) can be valuable for navigating these choppy waters.

Looking ahead

Surviving and thriving in a complex real estate market boils down to adaptability, strategic investment, and a laser focus on brand value.

The wisdom imparted in this masterclass reveals that real estate brokerages can continue to scale their brands without diminishing value by embracing innovative solutions, even in cost-cutting.

The crux lies in “navigating this challenging terrain without sacrificing brand growth while maintaining your bottom line.”

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Max Leblond

October 18, 2023 | 5 minutes read