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Brokers
Smart Money Moves/Users/adamp/Desktop/Stuff for FAR/Magazine Assets/NOV08/images/SmartMoney

From investing in a different marketing strategy to spending on technology—it’s not all about cutting back. Sometimes, you have to pay to play.

Real estate brokers are always on the lookout for ways to increase their bottom line, particularly in challenging market conditions. Today’s market is no exception, and brokers across the state are coming up with great ways to insulate—and even increase—their profitability.

Here’s what you can do:
1. Give sales associates and employees goals, such as bringing in one new account per month for the property management department.
—Martha I. Vazquez, president, V & V Real Estate Associates & Financial
Specialists, Tampa

2. Reconfigure your advertising strategy. Instead of pouring thousands of dollars into print media, put more ad dollars into maintaining the Internet. 
—Thomas Joynes, broker-owner, St. Cloud Real Estate, St. Cloud
 
3. Keep your office running lean. I stopped handing out wireless Internet air cards (you can find wireless connections almost anywhere); a statistics company (now I just use the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors® quarterly stats); automated hotlines (all direct response now goes to the Web site) and mailing reports that customers request (I try to e-mail everything.) 
—Michael S. Perry, P.A., Keller Williams Tampa Central

4. Accept the idea that physical locations and the overhead that comes with them aren’t necessary in the Internet age. Stop pouring money into your physical location. Consider building a virtual office model that allows sales associates to work from home.   
—Curt Walma, broker-owner, Venice Real Estate Co., Venice

5. Invest in good Internet metrics software so you can track hits to your Web site and provide feedback to sellers.
—Kitty Taylor, broker, Grayton Coast Properties, Grayton Beach